The temporomandibular joint allows your jaw to open and close and move from side to side. When the muscles of this joint become overused or stressed, producing pain, the condition is often called TMJ or TMD, referring to the joint. This disorder can occur when too much stress is placed on the muscles and ligaments of the jaw through clenching or grinding of the teeth. TMJ/TMD can also be caused by trauma to the joint. Misaligned teeth can also cause TMJ/TMD to develop.
Treatment of TMJ/TMD is determined after diagnosing the cause of the condition. The disorder can range from minor to severe. In many cases, given time, it may resolve on its own. Certain exercises targeting the joint and relieving the strain are often enough to address minor cases. Extensive treatment may be necessary for more severe cases. It is important to have the problem properly diagnosed and identify the root cause to determine the most effective course of treatment. Testing, along with a thorough examination of the joint, is part of the diagnostic process.
After determining the source of the disorder, a treatment plan will be developed, and the dentist will make recommendations regarding treatment options. When the treatment plan is followed as advised, the discomfort and pain from TMJ/TMD should subside.
Jaw Pain, Facial Pain Relief!
The pain and discomfort caused by TMJ/TMD can often be relieved by over-the-counter pain medication and targeted exercises. When this is not enough, other options are available, such as wearing a night guard while sleeping to eliminate the stress caused by bruxism or clenching. If you grind or clench your teeth when you sleep, you are putting extra stress on the temporomandibular joint at a time when it should be relaxing and repairing itself naturally.
When the joint is not allowed to heal from the day’s stress and pressure, pain can develop, not just in the joint but also in the face, ear, neck and shoulder. The night guard prevents the teeth from coming together and relieves the pressure on the joint. A night guard will also prevent grinding.
Pain in the jaw, a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth may be a sign that you have TMJ/TMD. Contact Shadle Smiles in Spokane, and schedule an appointment for an examination and consultation. You do not have to suffer with jaw pain when we can treat the cause. Call us today.