Do you regularly suffer from headaches and jaw pain?
Regular headaches, jaw pain, and clicking sounds when moving the jaw are just a few of the symptoms of TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the part of the body that is responsible for your ability to move your mouth when eating, speaking, and chewing.
If you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, our team at Morristown Cosmetic Dentistry can recommend the appropriate treatment options for your needs. We understand that symptoms of TMJ disorder can be debilitating and affect your quality of life. Contact Dr. Victor Gittleman of Morristown, NJ to explore your TMJ treatment options.
What Is TMJ?
The TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joints, are located on each side of the jaw. The TMJ is responsible for your jaw’s ability to open and close. If your TMJ is misaligned, it can cause an imbalance in the entire myofascial system. While there is no single cause of TMJ, these events can increase your risk of TMJ:
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Trauma to face or jaw
- Damage to one or both of the temporomandibular joints
Patients with TMJ disorder (or TMD) may suffer a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, jaw pain, and discomfort in the neck, face, and ears.
Because TMJ often mimics other health conditions, it is difficult to diagnose; However, under the care of an experienced dentist, patients can receive the diagnosis and treatment they need to alleviate their symptoms and realign their bite.
TMJ is an all-encompassing term that relates to a range of conditions that affect the alignment of the jaw and the balance of the bite. It is common for the symptoms of TMJ to range depending on its underlying cause. Many patients with TMJ experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain, swelling, or discomfort in the jaw
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Click or popping sounds when chewing
Aside from the symptoms that occur around the jaw, TMJ may also cause symptoms that may not seem like they are related to your dental health. These symptoms may include:
- Chronic headaches, especially in the morning
- Sinus pressure
- Neck back, and shoulder pain
- Earaches or ringing in the ears
If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to visit your dentist for a TMJ screening.
Diagnosing and Treating TMJ in Morristown, NJ
To determine if TMD causes your symptoms, it is vital to undergo the necessary testing. Most dentists assess the condition of your jaw with these tests:
- A physical exam of the function of your jaw
- Listening for clicking and popping sound when the jaw is in motion
- CT Scan, X-ray, or digital imaging to gain an in-depth view of the joints and bone in the jaw
- Through discussion of your symptoms
TMJ treatment is designed to be comprehensive. Because TMJ is often the result of many factors, it is necessary to address each factor to alleviate symptoms and restore function to your jaw. Treatment options for TMJ may include one or more of the following, depending on the root cause of TMJ disorder:
- Physical therapy
- Jaw exercises
- Restorative Dentistry: dental crowns, dental bonding, or dental implants
After undergoing a comprehensive evaluation, your dentist can determine which solutions will best suit your needs.
TMJ Therapy FAQs
Can sleeping on your side cause TMJ?
Sleeping on your side can intensify your TMJ pain and make your issue worse. For proper neck and jaw alignment during sleep, lay on your back facing up. This position offers the most comfort and natural alignment to your jaw.
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
Many different things can happen if your TMJ is left untreated. Your TMJ can go away if symptoms are mild and not causing you major discomfort. Your TMJ can also get very worse, for example, if your oral habits are causing the pain. This dental problem is unique because it affects everyone differently.
Can I treat TMJ at home?
You can take steps to reduce your TMJ symptoms at home. Our dentist will recommend jaw exercises and other home remedies if he determines that your TMJ is not severe and in need of medical attention. Always talk to your dentist about your jaw pain symptoms before determining your condition and treatment options.