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Common Dentist TMJ Questions
TMJ is not a condition that you want to ignore. If you are having pain in your jaw, you may be struggling with this disorder. Visiting the dentist is critical for getting a diagnosis and the right treatment. Your dentist can help you manage and overcome the symptoms. It is also helpful to understand more about these issues so that you can feel more comfortable and at ease.
An overview of TMJ
The temporomandibular is a joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. A person has one of these sliding joints on either side of the mouth. Pain in these areas is common, as is discomfort in the muscles here that control the movement of the jaw. Dentists are not certain what causes this disorder, but genetics can be a factor. Injuries to the jaw can also cause pain in the joint. Untreated, this condition can worsen and impact the person’s quality of life and lead to other health concerns.
What are the symptoms?
The most prevalent sign that a person has TMJ is intense jaw pain. This can be present when the person is chewing or speaking. For some individuals, the pain subsides eventually with at-home care. However, in the most severe cases of the disorder, the person may have continual discomfort. These feelings may increase over time.
There are other symptoms that people should watch out for. The joint can lock, making it hard to open and close the mouth. Some people may experience pain around the ear or in the face. There may also be clicking sounds while chewing. The jaw may feel tender as well.
When should the person see a dentist?
Occasional pain in the jaw may not mean the individual has TMJ. But there are a few signs that indicate it is time to go to the dentist’s office. If the condition does not improve with self-care, such as taking pain medication or using an ice pack, the patient should see a dentist. Also, if the jaw pain is impacting the person’s ability to sleep or perform routine tasks, a dental visit is necessary.
What can the dentist do?
At a dental appointment, the patient can find relief from TMJ symptoms and overcome the condition. The dentist will first examine the patient and confirm that there is something wrong with this joint. The dentist will take X-rays, look at the range of motion of the jaw, and touch areas of the jaw to see where the pain is present. The dentist may then start treatment.
Pain medication can help ease the patient. Other drugs such as muscle relaxers may be the next step. The dentist can also insert an oral appliance into the patient’s mouth. Physical therapy is also a possibility. In the most serious cases, surgery to repair the joint may be required.
Be free of jaw pain
Significant, constant pain in your jaw can be debilitating. You should not have to live with TMJ. Your dentist can treat this condition and help rid your mouth of this discomfort. If you have the symptoms of this disorder, call your dentist today.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Scottsdale, AZ.
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