TMJ or TMJD is a term used to describe a combination of symptoms that is characterized mainly by pain and dysfunction of the muscles that move the jaw (muscles of mastication) and the joints which connects the mandible to the skull (temporomandibular joints).
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder starts by a simple pain that becomes severe, followed by restricted mandibular movement, discomfort that affects the face and the neck and can radiate throughout other areas of the body.
Though TMJ is not life-threatening, it can affect the quality of life because the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage and worse it may lead to permanent damage if left untreated.
At Park Meadows Dental in Medicine Hat, Alberta, our dedicated dentists who have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ will walk you through in understanding the disorder and after a thorough diagnosis will design a customized Treatment Plan that will best address your discomfort.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Causes of the disorder can be varied but this may include the following:
- Trauma, particularly Whiplash injury (injury or sudden distortion of the neck usually brought about by accidents)
- Arthritis of the jaw joints
- Simple overuse
What are the symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
The following symptoms are not exhaustive but any or a combination of these call for immediate attention which we can help with:
- Difficulty in chewing of food
- Difficulty in opening and/or closing of the jaw
- Noises in the joint of the jaw like popping or clicking sounds
- Head and neck aches
- Feeling of non-alignment of teeth
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain felt just in front of the ear
- Inability or difficulty of opening mouth widely
- Numbness in the arms or fingers
- Yawning or clenching is often worse upon waking
- Pain or feeling of pressure behind the eyes
What are the treatments for TMJ?
Park Meadows Dental’s Team of Dentists make sure every disorder or discomfort is treated comprehensively and in the case of TMJ, a multi-disciplinary approach is essential in its management.
We have Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which addresses the psychosocial factors that accompany the disorder. On the physical side of the affectation, we make use of devices, invasive and non-invasive interventions as well as medication providing treatments that are both holistic and complete.