Your jaw joint, which is your temporomandibular joint, undergoes plenty of motions throughout the day. Every time you open your mouth to speak, yawn or chew, your temporomandibular joint goes into action. When it works perfectly, you never notice. When you suffer from a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder) in San Antonio, you may end up with chronic or acute pain at the joint site.
TMJ disorder is not uncommon, especially in some adults. It can be frustrating, though. Fortunately, you have plenty of treatment options through a San Antonio area dentist. A customized approach to dealing with your TMJ disorder can allow you to minimize its effects or cure it altogether.
Why and How Does TMJ Disorder Happen?
TMJ disorder can occur in anyone. In some people, it is passed down throughout the generations. For instance, if one or both of your parents deal with TMJ disorder, you may be genetically predisposed to be diagnosed with it as well. Other risk factors for developing TMJ disorder include grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw often, arthritis and an injury to the jaw or face. Women are more statistically prone to experiencing TMJ disorder than men.
As someone with TMJ disorder, you can expect one or more symptoms like pain when you open or close your jaw, trouble biting down, pain that radiates from the jaw into the shoulders or neck, headaches, a jaw that pops out of place or locks in place, tingling in the jaw and swelling of the jaw. A good way to determine if you might have TMJ disorder is to keep a list of possible symptoms for a couple of weeks. You can then discuss your symptoms with a dentist during your examination for TMJ disorder.
Ways to Address TMJ Disorder in San Antonio, TX!
Dentists who are trained to identify and treat TMJ disorder have numerous ways to customize a plan to take away your discomfort. Some of the many methods that can work for TMJ disorder patients include:
- Wearing oral appliances at night. These individually created appliances keep your jaw in a neutral position. They also stop you from grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. With less stress on it, your temporomandibular joint will have less reason to become inflamed.
- Taking prescribed medications. If you have TMJ disorder, you may already be taking some over-the-counter pain reducers. However, a dentist may recommend that you begin taking medications aimed at relaxing the jaw joint muscles. When the muscles are more relaxed, they are more apt to make the joint movement more fluid and less stiff.
- Changing your daily routines. Did you know that you can make at-home changes that may reduce or resolve your TMJ disorder symptoms? These can include incorporating meditation into your routine or applying ice (or heat) to your jaw throughout the day. You may be surprised at how making small adjustments in your lifestyle can have a big impact on this common problem.
- Undergoing jaw surgery. There are a few types of jaw surgery that may make sense for your situation. Jaw surgery can be a practical choice when other non-surgical treatments have not had the effect you want.
Get Treated for TMJ Disorder!
You do not need to keep living with the irritation of TMJ disorder. If you experience any jaw joint issues, please call Excellent Dental Specialists to talk about your TMJ disorder with a San Antonio area dentist.