Aches and pains are a normal part of life. But they may also signal a more serious problem.
Jaw pain and popping is one of those annoying discomforts that you may find difficult to ignore.
Temporoalmandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), is a common condition suffered by millions of Americans. It’s caused by improper alignment of the jaw which can result in jaw pain and other discomforts.
Your jaw is composed of specialized joints which are responsible for ease of movement and strength. These joints help you talk, eat, yawn and open and close your mouth.
TMJ can make even these simple jaw movements painful and annoying.
Sometimes,TMJ is temporary and its symptoms resolve on their own or with some tender loving DIY care. But if those treatments don’t help, and TMJ is causing chronic pain, it may need to be addressed professionally.
What are the symptoms?
Along with jaw pain and stiffness, you may experience dizziness, have headaches, neck and shoulder pain, eye discomfort, ringing in your ears, jaw locking or other types of pain and numbness. In extreme cases, people with TJM can barely move their jaw. Keep in mind, however, that these symptoms, even in combination, may not mean you have TMJ.
Our team at Hampton Dental Associates can evaluate your symptoms and suggest the best treatment options for you. Depending on the results of your evaluation, we may refer you to a surgeon or another dentist or orthodontist.
Whether you have a bit of cracking or a lot of pain, you may find relief with some home care:
- Stretch your jaw, neck and shoulders often
- Apply heat packs
- Wear a mouth guard at night to stop teeth grinding
- Perform relaxation exercises to help eliminate jaw clenching
- Avoid hard-to-chew or crunchy foods
- Avoid biting your nails
- Take anti-inflammatory painkillers or stronger, prescription medication if needed
When treating TMJ, “less is more,” according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. But when simple measures don’t make a difference in your symptoms, Dr. Winter can recommend a more involved treatment plan.
Call for a consultation, today 414-377-5711.