Symptoms and Treatment Options for TMJ

Sometimes, when life gets the best of us, stress may arise and can cause your body to internalize the tension by grinding or clenching down on your teeth. If you are grinding your teeth due to anxiety or out of habit, you may be experiencing early signs of TMJ. These syndromes can be caused by trauma or even passed down through genetics. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joints. These joints and jaw muscles work together to allow us to open and close our mouth, including the ability to chew and speak. This is the general term used by patients and doctors alike to describe what is also known as TMD, which stands for temporomandibular disorder.

What are Signs of TMJ?

TMJ is a pain associated with the jaw joints that attaches the lower jaw to the skull located in front of the ear, whereas TMD can affect any part of the joint system, such as muscles, bones, and ligaments. TMJ can be considered very painful and overtime, it can progressively get worse if it is neglected.

Common signs of TMJ include:

  • A jaw that is locked in place or hard to pry open
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Having trouble biting down evenly
  • Hearing clicking noises when the jaw engages in chewing
  • Sinus pressure and pain
  • Developing Arthritis around the TMJ
  • Broken down or fractured teeth

How to Treat TMJ?

Fortunately, TMJ is not something to panic about, but it should not be ignored either. Especially if the pain does not go away or worsens. There are ways to help alleviate some of the pain that you are feeling, whether it be at home, or through visiting your dentist.

Stretching Techniques

With TMJ, your jaw and neck can feel very tight. Take a moment, breathe, and try different stretching techniques that will aid in decreasing the tension.

Mouthguard/Night Guard

One of the best ways to begin relieving the pressure off your jaw muscles is through a custom fitted mouthguard or night guard to aid in the prevention of grinding at night. These mouthguards can support your jaw by training the improper bite to form into the correct bite. This will also allow your jaw and facial muscles to relax, which reduces muscle spasms and pain.

Other TMJ Treatments

There are other treatment options that can aid in the pain you feel from TMJ, such as:

  • Ice Pack
  • Eat Soft Foods
  • Avoid Extreme Jaw Movements
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Relax

Let Bumgardner Family Dental Help Get Rid of Your TMJ Pain

If you or a loved one are experiencing extreme pain or discomfort in your jaw, contact our knowledgeable teamĀ  today as we are ready to assist you. Bumgardner Family Dental can quickly treat TMJ or TMD by providing patients with relief and comfort.

About Bumgardner Family Dental

Located in Carencro, Louisiana, Bumgardner Family Dental provides multiple dental services, such as general, cosmetic, restorative, and pediatric dentistry. The mission of Bumgardner Family Dental is to help you create a smile that will last a lifetime. For inquiries about our TMJ services, additional dental services, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.