Do you have pain when talking, eating, and yawning? You could be suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which affects your muscles and jaw joints, it is very uncomfortable. TMJ disorder affects the joint that allows you to speak, chew, yawn, and open your mouth; the disorder can cause facial pain, tenderness at the joints, and even difficulty at the joints. The great team at Gaithersburg TMJ has enough knowledge on how to relieve you from pain. You need to know the causes, symptoms, and suitable treatment of TMJ to manage the condition properly.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
The most known causes of TMJ disorder include dental surgery, grinding of teeth during sleep, arthritis, physical injury, and infections. TMJ disorder can also be genetic, environmental, or hormonal. Violinists are at a higher risk of experiencing TMJ disorder since their work involves holding instruments under their jaw, causing strain.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder symptoms can vary from mild to severe, depending on the cause of your condition. Pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles can be the most common symptom. The pain can be felt when you are moving your jaw, you can also experience headaches, earache, or pain around your ear and the cheeks.
The painless symptoms you are likely to experience are clicking, unusual popping, and grinding noise, which occurs when you are talking, eating, or opening your mouth. However, you need to visit a doctor if the sound occurs alongside limited movement and pain.
Diagnosing TMJ Disorder
A doctor’s physical examination and checking of medical records could help them understand the cause of your TMJ disorder. An X-ray could determine the damage that has been caused. Diagnosis is taken so that you can be treated according to the cause of your condition.
Treatment of TMJ Disorder
Treating TMJ disorder can be successful if you observe your lifestyle and maintain self-care, changing your symptoms from mild to moderate. Self-care treatment that can be recommended for you may involve reducing the movements of your jaw. Additionally, eating soft foods, reducing stress, avoiding tough foods, and reducing chewing gum can reduce jaw movements. Your doctor will recommend rest and gentle exercise to ease your symptoms.
Moreover, if a pre-existing condition causes your situation, then specific treatment can be provided. If your TMJ disorder is caused by tooth clenching or grinding during sleep, your dentist will provide a mouth guard to help ease your symptoms. Your joint can be injected with steroids to help reduce pain and swelling if a degenerative condition causes your disorder, and the pain will reduce within a week.
Surgery is recommended only for extreme cases like when your jaw’s movements are extremely restricted, and you have long-lasting symptoms, which is very rare; the joint will need to be replaced. You will first need to visit your doctor to recommend the best treatment for your condition.
A specialized physician can only treat TMJ disorder to avoid misdiagnosis. Before starting any treatment, even if it is self-care, you need to visit your doctor for regular checkups. Symptoms of TMJ disorder can be reduced when you lower your stress levels. It could be wise to see a doctor when you have pain when moving your jaw muscles.