What Is TMJ?
TMJ, or “temporal mandibular joint and muscle disorders,” are, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (part of the National Institutes of Health), “a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.” As any sufferer knows, TMJ can be annoying but can become extremely painful and disruptive if left untreated.
What Are Symptoms of TMJ?
The signs and symptoms of TMJ vary in discomfort or pain levels. Common symptoms include:
- Discomfort while chewing, talking, or yawning
- Frequent headaches or migraine headaches, especially upon waking
- Aching of or pain in the ears, cheeks, neck, or shoulders, especially upon waking
- Fatigue of the face or jaw, especially upon waking
- Snapping or popping sound or sensation at the top or back of the jaw when opening or closing the mouth
- Teeth clenching or bruxism during stress, tension, concentration, or during sleep
- Hearing loss, tinnitus (i.e., ringing in the ears), or dizziness
- Reduced motion or a shifting of the jaw when opening wide
- Inability to experience restful sleep
- TMJ sufferers may experience one or more of these or other symptoms.
Does the Identification of TMJ Symptoms Help with a Quick Diagnosis?
Unfortunately, diagnosing your jaw pain is not as easy as recognizing the symptoms of TMJ. Often, TMJ symptoms alone are not enough to diagnose the disorder. And, if not addressed at an early stage, or if treatment does not address the underlying causes, TMJ can become a very painful and a very complex musculoskeletal condition.
How Is TMJ Diagnosed?
Because of the complex nature of TMJ, diagnosing your jaw pain requires the experience of a professional. Fortunately, the dental experts at Osborne Family Dental screen for TMJ at every checkup. In addition to checking for TMJ symptoms, your hygienist or dentist will evaluate possible underlying causes of any TMJ symptoms so that proper treatment can be prescribed.
How Is TMJ Treated?
It may be tempting to try one of the many over-the-counter (OTC) remedies to relieve your TMJ symptoms. In fact, the experts at Osborne Family Dental may recommend an OTC solution for the treatment of your TMJ. It is important, however, to understand the distinction. Improperly treated TMJ can develop into conditions far more serious. Always consult a professional for the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ.
Why Choose Osborne Family Dental for TMJ Treatment?
Osborne Family Dental strives to make early intervention of and treatment for TMJ not only possible, but also probable with regular screening and expert evaluation of TMJ symptoms and their underlying causes. What makes Osborne Family Dental special, however, is our treatment philosophy. It is our goal “To detect and treat disease as early as possible.” Furthermore, “It is central to our philosophy of dental care that good dental treatment produces real-life benefits that are worth paying for.”
If you are experiencing any of the mentioned TMJ symptoms and would like to discuss diagnosing your jaw pain, contact us. Rest assured that we’ll look beyond your symptoms to discover the underlying causes of TMJ. Only then can we recommend a TMJ treatment that’s right for you.
We look forward to seeing you!