TMJ Awareness Month
TMJ Disorders: What You Need To Know
Have you experienced pain or tenderness in your jaw? Do you have frequent headaches or neckaches? Have normal activities, like chewing, talking, or opening and closing your mouth, become painful or difficult? If you have experienced any of these symptoms, like millions of other patients, you may have TMJ Disorder. This month, Riverside Oral Surgery is joining the national movement for TMJ Awareness to help sufferers fully understand this condition, and most importantly, find the relief they deserve.
According the Journal for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders) affect up to 20% of adult patients, most commonly found in women ages 20 to 40 years of age. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your jaw to your skull and assist with movements like talking or chewing. For those patients suffering from TMJ disorder, there is an injury to the jaw joints or surrounding tissues that is causing the condition.
Symptoms: “How to know if I have TMJ disorder?”
Patients with TMJ disorder may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Jaw pain
- Pain in the neck or shoulders
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, or opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing your mouth.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
- Swelling of the face
- Tooth pain
For a complete list of symptoms, visit our website here.
Causes: “What’s the number one cause of TMJ?”
TMJ disorders can develop for a variety of reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and causing stressing to the joints. Stress, injuries, or even arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch and tear the muscles. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position and result in this disorder.
Diagnosis and Treatment: “What helps TMJ go away?”
There are various treatment options that can be utilized to relieve symptoms and restore function for a healthier, more comfortable jaw. Most importantly, it all starts with the right diagnosis and treatment from an experienced medical professional. At Riverside, our surgeons specialize in TMJ disorder and will assist you with a complete evaluation to determine the proper course of treatment. Dr. Richer is one of our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons with a specialty focus in Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction. He has extensive training in the field, with a fellowship in TMJ surgery and a passion for treating patients with this disorder and other jaw complications. Contact our offices today for a complete evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for your condition.
The following treatments may be used for TMJ disorders:
- Stress management
- Over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen
- Application of heat or cold packs
- Mouth appliances, such as nightguards or splints
- Corrective dental treatments
- Botox Cosmetic Treatment
- TMJ Surgery
Potential Risks: “What happens if you let TMJ go untreated?”
Chronic TMJ pain can lead to long-term problems such as depression, anxiety, and frequent headaches. In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with proper diagnosis and treatment. At Riverside, we are here to guide you through this serious condition and on the road to complete recovery.
Are You Ready to Take The Next Step In Treating TMJ?Book an Online Appointment or Call an office near you. Our friendly and caring staff are here to assist you with any questions.
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