If you’ve noticed symptoms of dysfunction, jaw pain, and discomfort of the jaw bone and muscles surrounding it, then you’re likely experiencing temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. Studies have concluded that over 10 million people within the United States suffer from jaw pain due to TMJ disorder, which is an astounding number of Americans.
Your oral hygiene should be top of mind right now seeing as how November is National TMJ Awareness Month. TMJ Awareness Month is a national movement that was designated to provide the public with a greater understanding of TMJ and how its symptoms can be easily managed. If you’re suffering from TMJ disorder, reach out to Reno dentist Dr. Kulesa for relief today.
What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint located on either side of the jaw. Essentially, the temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull and acts like a hinge capable of sliding open and closed. This joint allows the up and down movement of your jaw which is necessary for eating, speaking, chewing, and more.
TMJ disorder is a type of oral health problem that results in discomfort, pain, and inflammation around the jaw. This may affect various areas of the body including your mouth, neck, shoulders, and head. TMJ is caused by a misalignment of the jaw that puts additional stress on the area. Oftentimes, TMJ is the result of trauma, teeth grinding, or clenching.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
The most common symptoms associated with TMJ disorder include orofacial pain or discomfort and compromised movement of the jaw. However, you may notice inflammation or pain in other parts of the body associated with the jaw including the mouth, neck, or shoulders. Most commonly, patients suffering from TMJ disorder will also notice limited mobility of the jaw, making everyday tasks like eating and speaking quite difficult.
When determining if TMJ is affecting you, your Reno dentist will take the following symptoms into consideration:
- Difficulty or discomfort when chewing or biting down
- Popping or clicking noise when opening and closing the mouth
- Tooth sensitivity to warm or cold temperatures
- Dull pain throughout the face
- Migraines or headaches
- Jaw, neck, or shoulder pain
- Ringing or pain in the ears
- Locking of the jaw joint
Treatment Options to Relieve Your TMJ Disorder
TMJ treatment plans will vary depending on the cause of your TMJ dysfunction. As stated earlier, TMJ disorder may be caused by several factors, but the most common are teeth grinding, muscle tension, and trauma to the jaw, mouth, or face. Once the severity and cause of your TMJ have been determined, your Reno dentist will be better able to provide you with an appropriate treatment plan.
In some instances, a plastic mouthpiece can be fitted to your mouth to stop clenching or grinding. Other dental treatments for TMJ include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, filling in gaps between teeth, or adjusting the bite. Your Reno dentist may also recommend lifestyle changes and home therapy methods to help relieve your symptoms further. This may include heat and cold therapies, stretching and massaging of the jaw muscle, and limited use of the jaw (no gum chewing, eating soft foods, etc.).
Visit Your Reno Dentist for TMJ Awareness Month
To commemorate TMJ awareness month, schedule a visit to your Reno dentist this November. The only way for you to feel relief is to address your TMJ issues head-on. Dr. Kulesa and his team are available to help you get your jaw back into proper alignment and maintain its structure so you can regain optimal function of your jaw and mouth. Let’s put an end to uncomfortable mouth pain. Dr. Kulesa can find the root cause of your pain and treat it.
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