Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD or TMJ) are common jaw problems that can lead to chronic pain and have a negative impact on your daily life. Knowing the signs of TMJ can help your dentist in Westmount detect problems early and allow you to find solutions to ease symptoms before they develop into more severe conditions.
What Is the Temporomandibular Joint?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is much like a hinge that connects your skull and jaw, and enables your jaw to move when you chew or speak. This joint can become injured or inflamed, leading to uncomfortable temporomandibular joint disorders.
Symptoms of TMJ
There are quite a few signs that may indicate some type of TMD. Some common symptoms include:
- An aching jaw
- Facial discomfort
- Clicking or popping noises in your jaw
- Jaw soreness or stiffness
- Ear pain
- An inability to completely open or close your mouth, which may indicate that your jaw has become “locked”.
The symptoms and intensity TMJ varies from person to person. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to seek treatment from your dentist in Westmount as soon as you can.
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
In some cases, the causes of TMD can be challenging to determine. Jaw, head, skull and neck injuries like whiplash can all cause TMD. A misaligned bite (malocclusion), stress, disk degeneration, arthritis and teeth grinding or jaw clenching can contribute to TMD, causing ongoing pain, stiffness and other conditions.
Talk to Your Westmount Dentist about Treatment for TMD
Dentists in Westmount typically recommend conservative treatments for TMD before considering surgery. Eating a soft diet, taking anti-inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxers, applying heat and ice and avoiding overworking your jaw with habits like gum chewing can help assuage symptoms of TMD.
If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, your Westmount dentist can make a customised night guard that helps alleviate the symptoms of TMD and protects your teeth from wear and breakage. This comfortable and discreet bite splint can be worn any time of day. Some patients find relief from alternative treatments such as acupuncture and nerve stimulation as well. If these types of treatments have been tried with no relief, your dentist may suggest jaw surgery or arthroscopy.
If you’re suffering from TMD symptoms, your dentist in Westmount can diagnose your specific issues and determine an effective course of treatment to help you find relief.