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Understanding TMJ Disorders: What You Should Know

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which we might commonly know as the 'jaw joint.' It is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the temporal part of the skull. If you're wondering about how it works, ask the best dentist in Morton, IL. 

 

In the United States, approximately 12% of the population experience pain in their jaw joints. This condition also affects women more than men. Are you interested in learning more about this? We've got you covered! 

 

What Are TMJ Disorders?

A TMJ disorder is the collective term used to describe conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint. It showcases a variety of symptoms that are known to bring a lot of pain and discomfort. 

 

These problems often occur for most people at some point in their lives. And because the symptoms can vary, each disorder has a specific treatment. But due to the complexity of the conditions, diagnosing and treating them can take some time. 

What Are the Symptoms? 

 

TMD affects the jaw and jaw joints, as well as the surrounding areas like the neck, shoulders, face, and head. The most common symptoms include: 

 

  • Headaches 

  • Joint pain 

  • Muscle pain 

  • Clicking sounds during jaw movement 

  • Troubles in opening the mouth

  • Locking of the jaw 

In some cases, you may also experience neck pain and ringing in your ears. The symptoms are usually mild and don't last for a long time. But some patients do chronically experience the symptoms. 

 

Chronic symptoms usually affect their daily activities since they experience a lot of pain when they chew, swallow or talk. 

 

What Causes Them to Occur? 

 

TMJ disorders may occur due to different factors. But the most common cause is when the joint structures have become overused, becoming strained in the process. 

 

In some cases, it may be due to physical injuries, grinding of teeth while sleeping, arthritis, infections, or autoimmune diseases. It's rare, but it can also be caused by genetics, hormones, and your environment. 

 

How Are They Diagnosed? 

 

There is no exact way of diagnosing a TMJ disorder. Specialists are likely to conduct physical exams and ask about the symptoms you're feeling. In most cases, they would have you undergo x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to check for issues related to the symptoms presented by the disorders. 

 

Treating TMJ Disorders 

 

The good news is, there are treatments and medications that you can take to alleviate the pain. Your dentist may prescribe NSAIDs to reduce the pain and swelling. 

 

Since jaw movement may cause discomfort, it is also advised that you have a soft diet temporarily. Applying hot and cold packs to the affected area for 10 minutes also helps.  

 

Looking For the Best Dentist in Morton, IL? 

 

Now that we've covered everything there is to know about TMJ disorders and how to treat them, it's time to pay a visit to the best dentist in Morton, IL. 

 

Head on over to the Morton Dental Center. We have trained experts who can give you valuable advice and insights about how to treat TMJ disorders. Visit us today