Although several health conditions can lead to a person developing temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) — such as arthritis — chances are you want more information about what may be causing yours and what treatment is available to help curtail the pain associated with it.
Even though it may seem that you’re experiencing jaw discomfort unlike anyone else, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from this condition. While it may be comforting to know you’re not alone, you probably still want to know more about this painful disorder.
The temporomandibular joint that we mentioned earlier is the joint in your facial structure that connects the jawbone to the skull. It assists in speaking, chewing, and swallowing. However, when this joint becomes injured, damaged, or overused, symptoms of TMJ will occur. These include jaw locking, audible clicking, popping, ear pain, temple pain, headaches, and stiff or sore jaw muscles. Some patients may only experience one of these symptoms, while others may experience more. These symptoms may often be classified as debilitating if left untreated. That’s why an early diagnosis from a dentist near you in Plano, TX, is so important.
There are countless reasons that a patient may begin to experience TMJ discomfort. They can range from a misalignment of the jaw, injury to the mouth, stress, anxiety, teeth grinding, excessive gum chewing, poor posture, and more. Because the causes can be so varied and the disorder so complex in nature, a special examination for your symptoms should be performed by a dental professional. Sometimes, TMJ can be treated like any muscle injury, but other times, it may require a customized mouth guard, a sleep study, or even surgery.
Each patient is unique — not only in their TMJ symptoms but in determining the best treatment protocol for their lifestyle and budget. At Lutke Dental, we view you as a unique individual and tailor each treatment to your specific needs. If you’re ready to stop the discomfort in your jaw, please give our dental care team a call today!