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Posted on: March 23, 2016
Dentist Care for Jaw Pain
If you’re experiencing unexplained jaw or facial pain, you’re not alone. Approximately 15 percent of adults in the United States experience facial pain that may be related to their temporomandibular (TM) joints. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) refers to a group of conditions that affect TM joints as well as the muscles, ligaments, bones, and nerves around them. If you have TMJ, you may experience symptoms when you open your mouth or when you make side-motions with your lower jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ
If you have TMJ, you may experience the following symptoms on a regular basis:
- Pain in or around ears
- Jaw pain when biting, chewing, or yawning
- Difficulty closing or opening the mouth
- Neck pain
- Tenderness of the jaw
- Clicking or popping noises or sensations in the jaw area
- Jaw pain or soreness in the morning or late afternoon
- Unexplained tooth sensitivity
Potential Causes of TMJ
- Jaw dislocation or injury
- Emotional stress and anxiety
It’s essential to seek professional dentist care if you experience persistent symptoms of TMJ. The exact causes of the condition can be difficult to pinpoint. If you visit a clinic for affordable dental in Atlanta, the dentist can examine your head and jaw and take X-rays of your joints. That way he or she can often determine if you have TMJ and recommend an effective treatment. If your diagnosis is unclear, you may be referred to a TMJ specialist. Sometimes tooth or sinus problems can mimic TMJ. Also, behavioral and psychological issues can be factors that contribute to symptoms. With time and help from a skilled TMJ specialist, you can get to the bottom of your jaw pain.
Treatment Options for TMJ
With proper dentist care, TMJ is usually a manageable condition. Possible treatment options include:
- Moist heat application
- Night guards to treat tooth-grinding
- Dental repair of poorly aligned teeth
- Resting the joint
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Relaxation or biofeedback techniques
What to Do if You Suspect that You Have TMJ
If you exhibit symptoms of TMJ, you should find a clinic for affordable dental in Atlanta for a diagnosis. Symptoms may go away without treatment, so plan to start out with a conservative treatment strategy. In severe cases, more invasive and permanent treatments may be appropriate.
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