Feeling Pain In Your Jaws? TMJ/TMD Treatment Is the Way to Go

Feeling Pain In Your Jaws? TMJ/TMD Treatment Is the Way to Go

Jan 01, 2022

Feeling pain in your jaw can be confusing, as it could have many causes. It is also an unpleasant and painful experience for you to have a locked jaw or a jaw that makes popping sounds whenever you close or open your mouth.

Speaking, chewing, laughing, or even yawning can be challenging when you have an issue with your jaw. If this describes your scenario, you might need TMJ/TMD treatment in Caledon, ON.

What’s Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)?

The term temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be a mouthful for most people. However, the joint plays a very vital role. It is located on either side of your jaw or face and operates like a hinge, connecting your skull to your jaw. This joint allows you to move your jaw from side to side and up and down. In other words, the TMJ will allow you to talk, eat, yawn, and laugh.

If the muscles controlling this joint are out of whack, it can lead to a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). In most cases, you might hear people mistakenly refer to the condition as TMJ.

What Causes TMD?

A myriad of factors can cause TMD. There are scenarios where the exact cause of the disorder may remain unknown. But, in most cases, TMD can come about as a result of:

  • Internal derangement. These are structural changes in the joint.
  • Inflammatory conditions. These may occur because of direct trauma to the jaw, such as a direct blow, or indirect trauma, such as teeth grinding, heavy chewing, and jaw clenching.
  • Arthritis. Infectious arthritis, degenerative arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis can affect your TMJ.
  • Muscular spasms can also limit jaw movement.
  • Fractures between the line of fusion of the halves of the jaw (mandibular symphysis).
  • Orthodontic braces.
  • Disc erosion.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

In most scenarios, the symptoms of TMD can last for a couple of days and can go away without any treatment. Symptoms may last much longer, even up to several years for some people. Jaw pain is one of the most glaring symptoms that you may experience.

Here are the other symptoms related to TMJ:

  • Trouble chewing
  • Pain around the ear when you speak, yawn or open your mouth
  • Grating and popping sounds when you open your jaw or chew
  • Uncomfortable bite
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Jaws that get stuck in either in the open or closed positions
  • Swelling on your face or the jaw
  • Tenderness or pain in your jaw, face, neck, or even shoulders
  • A tired feeling on your face

At times you might hear the popping or clicking sound without having limited jaw movement or pain. If this describes your scenario, there is no need for you to seek TMJ disorder treatment.

TMD Treatment

When you are lucky, you may experience TMD symptoms only for a few days, and you will not need TMJ/TMD treatment in Caledon, ON. However, for those who cannot wait to get jaw pain relief,

our dentist may prescribe the following medications depending on the severity of your case:

  • Muscle relaxants are used to alleviate the pain caused by muscle spasms.
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines can also be prescribed if the ones available at your local drug store are not potent enough to deal with the pain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants are mainly used to treat depression, but can be prescribed to help control bruxism (teeth grinding) and reduce jaw pain

TMD Therapies

Certain therapies can be used in tandem with medication to help alleviate pain, such as

  • wearing mouthguards or oral splints or receiving physical therapy from a
  • physiotherapist. Physical therapy for TMJ may include stretching and massage techniques that can help strengthen the supporting muscles in your jaw.

TMD Surgery

If all the above strategies are ineffective, surgery may be your next best bet. Our dentist may opt to perform the following procedures:

  • Injections
  • Open joint surgery
  • Modified condyloma
  • Arthrocentesis
  • TMJ arthroscopy

TMD pain can be debilitating and can lower the quality of your life. If you are seeking jaw pain relief, contact us at Kennedy North Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

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