Humans have two temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that serve the purpose of connecting the lower jaw to the skull. They are located in front of both ears. These joints consist of the temporal bone and the mandible.
TMJ is also used to describe temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and jaw-related symptoms. In this article, we have answered some of the most commonly answered questions about it:
What causes TMJ?
TMJ disorders are those conditions that affect the jaw points along with surrounding ligaments and muscles. An improper bite, trauma, wear and tear, and arthritis are some of the most common TMJ causes.
How to fix TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint disorder treatments range from home remedies/self-care practices to non-surgical and surgical treatment. It all depends on the condition of the patient. However, most dentists recommend that surgical treatment should be the last resort. The TMJ cure should start with conservative treatments. If they do not work, surgical options for TMJ treatment should be pursued.
Some common home remedies include the application of cold or heat packs, eating soft foods, and wearing a mouth guard for TMJ. A TMJ specialist in Tupelo may also recommend you undergo radio wave therapy, trigger-point injections, ultrasound, TENS, and Botox to treat this condition. They may also suggest you perform certain TMJ exercises for quick recovery.
What are TMJ symptoms?
Mostly, people between the age of 20 and 40 years are more likely to suffer from temporomandibular joint. Furthermore, this condition is more common in women as compared to men. Its common symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw pain when opening mouth wide
- Neck or shoulder pain
- “Locked” jaws
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw when closing or opening your mouth.
- Difficulty in chewing
- Jaw discomfort
If you encounter these symptoms, visit an experienced Tupelo dentist for a diagnosis and treatment for TMJ.
Can TMJ cause headaches?
Yes, it can. In fact, it’s one of the most common symptoms of this condition.
How long does it last?
The symptoms can last from a couple of days to weeks. Therefore, there’s no straight answer to how long this condition takes. In fact, certain TMJ disorders may take years before they are cured. Another important thing to note here is that these symptoms do not go away on their own. For example, TMJ headache won’t vanish automatically unless you’re getting treated for it.
What happens if TMJ disorder is left untreated?
If you are not getting treatment for the temporomandibular joint, it may result in serious health implications, which may include inflammation and chronic pain. Furthermore, tooth erosion, sleep apnea, depression, insomnia, anxiety, and bite issues are other disorders you are at the risk of suffering from by leaving TMJ untreated.
How to reduce the risk of suffering from TMJ disorder?
While it doesn’t work in all cases, practicing good posture can help reduce the symptoms of TMJ. In addition, wearing a mouthguard while playing sports, a night guard if you are habitual of grinding your teeth, and practicing stress-reduction techniques can also help. It is, however, important to know that these practices will not benefit you if symptoms are caused by factors that are beyond one’s control.
We hope that you found answers to the concerns and questions you had about it. For further inquiries, visit a dentist who specializes in treating temporomandibular joints.