It’s important to pay attention to the signs your jaw gives you. Jaw aches and discomforts can be a sign of something major, including temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ disorder.
Jaw aches coupled with frequent clicking and popping is a sign of TMJ syndrome. The issue is caused due to flawed alignment of the jaw and can be extremely painful.
The TMJ is a hinge that connects your lower jaw to the skull’s temporal bones that are positioned in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw vertically as well as horizontally, so that you can speak, bite, chew, and yawn without any trouble.
Any problem with the TMJ can cause extreme pain in doing even the simplest jaw-related movements.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
There are several symptoms of TMJ disorder that need to be kept in mind. Sadly, a lot of these symptoms are often neglected due to a lack of knowledge. These symptoms include:
- Any pain in the jaw that radiates to the neck and/or shoulders. The presence of muscle spasms around the area is also a sign of the disorder.
- TMJ disorder causes you to feel pain around the ear as well, especially when you talk, eat or yawn. You’ll notice a ringing sound in your ear, which most people believe is a sign of a problem with the ear, when it is due to TMJ disorder. The pain is often presented with other problems such as nausea, headache, dizziness and vomiting.
- Swelling of the face and mouth is also a sign of the disorder. This swelling makes it difficult to move your jaw and there may even be a clicking sound when you do so.
- If you feel your jaw isn’t aligned properly, you should turn to a doctor and get checked for the presence of the TMJ disorder.
Experts recommend using treatment methods which are conservative because safety is the top-most priority when it comes to treatment of jaw joints and muscles.
Adaptable steps that could help in reducing TMJ pain include:
- Avoiding foods that are hard to chew.
- Icing the affected area.
- Avoiding jaw movements like wide yawning, chewing gum or sticky substances.
- Adapting to muscle-relaxing and stress-reducing techniques.
- Taking pain medications such as Ibuprofen may provide relief from jaw discomfort.
- A bite guard helps in reducing pain. It is a plastic stabilizing splint that is fixed over your upper and lower jaw that prevents excessive movement of the jaw.
Your best option, however, is to visit your dental health care specialists and practice methods that he/she recommends according to your condition.
These solutions will help control pain, but they’re not a permanent solution as they revolve around changing your lifestyle rather than finding a permanent fix to your problem.
Irreversible Treatment Options (Surgery)
If your condition is serious, you must visit a doctor and get treated.
Leaving the condition unchecked can cause problems such as arthritis, and even tissue diseases. In severe cases your dentist may perform surgery to treat the problem.
If you have noticed any such signs, waste no time and get in touch with TMJ doctors today.