Most of the time, you probably don’t think about the muscles, joints, or ligaments in your mouth and face. That it, unless they are causing you pain. On both sides of your jaw you can find your temporomandibular joints, also known as the TMJ. You use these joints without even noticing them! The TMJ are responsible for opening and closing your jaw while you talk or chew.
There are TMJ disorders that can cause pain, whether it be caused by injuries, arthritis, erosion, or another issue, but people suffering from a TMJ disorder can find help from a WhiteWing Dental TMJ doctor! Read on to learn more about TMJ disorders and who may be able to help relieve your pain!
What Are the Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder?
Just as people experience pain in different ways, TMJ disorders can feel different for every person, depending on the cause of the disorder and how damaged the jaw is. Some people may experience only one or two symptoms, while others may suffer from many.
- Jaw muscle stiffness
- Locked jaw
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Neck or face pain
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth pain
How Do Doctors Diagnose TMJ?
When you visit a TMJ doctor, they may use several techniques to check for a TMJ disorder.
- The doctor may have you open and close your mouth a few times while listening and feeling for any unusual motions or sounds.
- They may observe your range of motion to see if you can open your mouth wide.
- Your doctor may check for areas on your jaw, face, or neck that cause you pain and discomfort.
- Your doctor may also suggest some imaging tests to check your facial bones, soft tissue, and teeth, including a dental x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
How Do Doctors Treat Patients With TMJ Disorders?
After a diagnosis, your TMJ doctor may provide treatment in several different ways depending on your specific needs. They may use one treatment or a combination to provide relief for your pain.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more types of medication to treat your TMJ symptoms, including pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatories.
You may have the option to have a medical procedure done on your jaw. Your doctor may offer injections or surgery to correct a problem with your jaw or relieve pain.
Your doctor may want you to wear a mouthguard or oral split to provide rest for your jaw. Your TMJ doctor may refer you to a physical therapist for jaw exercises and strength training.
Your TMJ doctor may ask you to change your diet and habits. This can include eating a soft diet, avoiding chewing on ice and gum, and reducing stress.
Consult with WhiteWing Dental for Your TMJ Symptoms
Sometimes, TMJ pain can go away on its own. However, it’s always a good idea to have a check-up with a TMJ doctor for diagnosis and treatment! If you’re having pain in your jaw, headaches, facial swelling, or other symptoms listed above, you should consider visiting a McAllen TMJ doctor.
At WhiteWing Dental, you will find a caring and understanding team of TMJ doctors to help you with your jaw pain. You deserve to chew and talk without pain, and we can help! Reach out to our office to schedule an appointment today!