If you get recurring headaches, grind your teeth at night, hear a clicking/popping sound when you eat, have jaw pain, or often feel a dull ache in your temples then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Your TMJ allows you to open your mouth, chew and talk. However if the jaw becomes misaligned from an injury, or osteoarthritis, or shifting of the teeth, this can result in a series of ailments including recurring headaches, migraine, neck and shoulder pain, dizziness and jaw pain.
You may have TMD if you suffer from any of the following:
- Migraine and frequent headaches
- Discomfort in the jaws
- Difficulty in opening the jaws or difficulty with chewing
- Experiencing pain behind your eyes
- Experiencing blocked ears or ringing ears
- Pain or tightness in the muscles of neck, shoulders or head
- Jaw joint locking or clicking
- Clenching or grinding of teeth
- Constant tooth ache despite absence of dental disease
There is no single cause of TMD, as it is caused by a combination of factors. Very often, it is a result of jaw misalignment, which is a consequence of poor teeth alignment.
The most important aspect to treating TMJ disorder is to correctly diagnose the cause as soon as possible. Through a comprehensive physical exam and oral health assessment, out dentists at Clear Choice Dental can determine if your TMJ is the cause of any ongoing pain or discomfort you are experiencing.
TMJ disorder is a complex area in dentistry and the correct solution can only be prescribed once we have determined the cause, however some of the treatment solutions we can offer include orthodontic work, dental splints (pictured below) or night guards that fit precisely over the teeth to reposition your bite. We can also inject a muscle relaxant into the jaw muscles, and this effectively decreases the amount of force put on your TMJ by preventing the muscles from contracting as hard. Many of our patients report an immediate decrease in headaches and jaw pain after having these injections.
If you suffer from any of the ailments described in this blog you should visit one of our dentists as soon as possible. If left unattended, the negative effects of TMJ disorder will worsen over time and become more complicated to treat.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with an appropriately qualified health practitioner.