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Signs of TMJ and When You Should See a Specialist

If you're experiencing unexplained pops and clicks in your jaw, headaches, and pain when you chew, then there's a very high likelihood that you're suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Your temporomandibular joint is the one that connects your jaw to your skull, and complications with it can be quite painful, leading to sufferers giving up their favorite foods and changing their lifestyle to try to fix it. We here at Excellent Dental Specialists understand how miserable and frustrating TMJ can be, which is why we make it our goal to help our patients overcome this unpleasant and painful condition.

Common Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ is extremely common, with nearly 10 million Americans suffering from it. The majority of people who struggle with TMJ are women, and while this condition isn't necessarily dangerous to your general wellbeing, it can negatively impact your quality of life and is quite excruciating to those who have it.

TMJ isn't very well understood, and researchers are uncertain exactly what causes it. However, stress is commonly associated with those who have it. Other causes of TMJ may include bruxism (grinding your teeth at night), an injury to your face and jaw, arthritis, and genetics. For many people with TMJ, the symptoms can go away as quickly as they appeared, but for others, they may linger for years, causing ongoing agony for those who have it.

Signs of TMJ include popping and clicking in your jaw, pain in either or both of your temporomandibular joints, an unexplained earache, pain in your neck and jaw, ongoing headaches, your joint locking on you, and pain when chewing and eating. Even if you change your diet and your lifestyle, you may continue to suffer from TMJ. If the symptoms of TMJ start to negatively affect your life, then we advise that you schedule an exam with us right away.

We can quickly and accurately diagnose you with TMJ in our office during an exam. To determine if you have TMJ, we'll start by visually examining your mouth. We'll watch to see how your range of motion looks in your jaw. We will also palpitate (press gently) around your mouth and jaw to locate areas of tenderness and pain. We may listen to you as you open and close your mouth to determine if we can hear the telltale pops associated with TMJ. We may decide to take X-rays of your jaw to see if there are any issues with the joint.

If we determine that you do have TMJ, we have several options of treatment that we can offer you. We may prescribe pain medication to help reduce your symptoms. Muscle relaxants can also help. Some patients have benefitted from antidepressants, which work very well on TMJ. Oral appliances, such as a nighttime mouth guard, can help stop you from grinding your teeth and may make you start to feel better.

If you suspect that you're suffering from TMJ, don't give up hope. Relief from your symptoms is possible. To learn more about TMJ and treatment for this common condition, please give us here at Excellent Dental Specialists a call today at (210) 598-8933 for more information or to schedule an appointment at our office for a consultation.

Excellent Dental Specialists
14500 San Pedro Ave, Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78232
(210) 598-8933
Excellent Dental Specialists
2020 Babcock Rd, Suite 10
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 598-8933
Excellent Dental Specialists
6961 Hwy 87 East
San Antonio, TX 78263
(210) 598-8933
Excellent Dental Specialists
1583 East Common Street, Suite 200
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(210) 598-8933
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