As a leading dentist in Alexandria with specialized training to treat TMJ, Dr. Mazhari’s if often asked about Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders by her patients. So this blog article will discuss the symptoms, treatment options and patient expectations around TMJ.
It’s estimated that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from some type of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Your TMJ is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull and allows the jaw to have a full range of motion for important activities such as chewing and speaking.
When there’s an issue with your jaw, the TMJ and the surrounding muscles are often affected. With so many people suffering from TMJ issues, what can be done about these debilitating disorders?
Dr. Mazhari and her staff at Alexandria Dental Health are experienced in properly diagnosing patients who suffer from TMJ pain as well as creating a personal treatment plan to fully address the underlying issue.
Symptoms Patients with TMJ Disorders Experience
Dr. Mazhari has seen patients who experience a range of symptoms when it comes to TMJ disorders. Although not everyone will experience the same TMJ symptoms, common indicators that a TMJ disorder is present include:
- Noises such as clicking, popping, or cracking noises when opening and closing the jaw
- Persistent pain or aching in the face near the TMJ, especially when chewing or speaking
- Headaches including migraines
- Inability to open the mouth fully or pain when doing so, such as when yawning
Some people who experience TMJ issues will also have earaches, neck pain, or even dizziness. Unfortunately, since TMJ symptoms can vary widely, some of the symptoms such as headaches, earaches, or tension in their neck muscles are misdiagnosed and so the root cause goes untreated.
Treatment Options for Your TMJ Discomfort
Often, dentists such as Dr. Mazhari are the first professionals to come into contact with TMJ disorders. The patient may complain that their jaw hurts or not be able to open their mouth fully during appointments.
Dr. Mazhari has helped patients with TMJ issues to identify what’s causing their pain and implement a treatment plan to effectively manage if not stop their TMJ symptoms entirely. Through conducting a thorough exam and x-rays, Dr. Mazhari can help determine if TMJ is to blame for your discomfort.
Identifying the underlying cause of your TMJ pain is essential to proper treatment. Some patients have a misaligned bite such as an overbite or underbite which can cause the TMJ to become stressed and inflamed.
If a misaligned bite is found to be the root cause, getting your bite into the correct position can stop your discomfort, so orthodontics or another type of oral appliance might be necessary.
If your TMJ problems are being caused by teeth grinding, addressing the underlying cause—which could be an improper bite as well as stress—will be paramount to stopping your discomfort.
In addition, jaw exercises may help alleviate tension in the muscles surrounding your TMJ while stress management can help to curb teeth grinding, inflammation, and tension headaches.
Dr. Mazhari can help you determine what’s causing your TMJ pain and put a treatment plan in place to help. For many patients, treatment can help reduce if not totally alleviate their chronic TMJ discomfort.
What to Expect After Treatment for TMJ Pain
Once the root cause of your symptoms has been addressed, you can expect to see a decrease in your TMJ pain. However, you must be diligent about following your treatment plan.
For some patients, TMJ pain may only be manageable, but for others, the right treatment can stop their discomfort entirely. If you suspect you’re suffering from a TMJ disorder, it’s time to schedule a consultation at Alexandria Dental Health. Dr. Mazhari can help alleviate your TMJ pain with the right treatment!