MANAGING TMJ PAIN
Here at ARTA dental, we have many patients who come in complaining about pain and discomfort in their TMJ (jaw) joints. If the pain is persistent, it is known as TMD-temporomandibular joint disorder, an umbrella term for disorders of the joints located on both sides of your jawbone, just below your ears. Patients suffering from TMD may experience discomfort opening or closing their mouth, clicking or popping of the jaw joint, as well as headaches and neck pain.
If jaw pain is most prominent first thing in the morning, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Many people are not aware that they are clenching or grinding their teeth at night. This can put a tremendous amount of pressure on the jaw joints as well as the teeth. If this is the case, you can talk to your dentist about fitting a night guard for you. A night guard is worn at night to act as a cushion in between the teeth and take the pressure off, thus alleviating pain and soreness that can come after a night of clenching. Some people clench their jaws during the day, also. In this case, relaxation techniques can be very helpful. Counseling can help to address the root cause of whatever is stressing you out.
Sometimes the cause of TMD are a little more complex. If a person has a malocclusion, or a bad bite, the entire alignment of their mouth is compromised. In some cases, a full mouth restoration may be necessary to restore the patient’s oral structures to a state of optimal functioning.
The team at ARTA Dental is experienced in dealing with TMD. After an examination, your dentist will be better able to identify a probable cause of the pain in your jaw joints. From their we can work towards formulating a treatment plan. If you are suffering from TMJ pain, please contact us as soon as possible; the sooner we figure out what is causing the pain, the sooner we can works towards a solution so that you can find relief. While you wait for your appointment, alternating between hot and cold compresses can alleviate the discomfort, as well as over the counter medications such as ibuprofen.