Posted on: July 13, 2016
Jaw Pain: Should you See a TMJ Specialist?
If your jaws hurt or you’ve noticed a clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth, you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ problems are especially common in young women and may lead to a number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Getting dentist care for TMJ problems can help you manage the symptoms and improve your ability to chew normally.
Signs and Symptoms that You Might Have a TMJ Disorder
The following signs indicate that you may need to seek dentist care for a TMJ disorder:
- Facial, jaw, or ear pain
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
- Popping, clicking, or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth
- Jaw locking open or shut
- Pain when talking, chewing, or yawning
- Hearing loss or tinnitus
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Difficulty opening your mouth all the way
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
The cause of TMJ problems may not always be clear, but many factors can contribute. These are some potential causes for TMJ symptoms:
- Trauma to the face or jaw
- Stress-related jaw-clenching or teeth-grinding
- Muscle disease
- Other dental problems such as malocclusion
- Some dental surgeries
How TMJ Disorders are Treated
Your doctor or dentist may be able to treat your symptoms, or you could be referred to a TMJ specialist for advanced management. The following treatments may be helpful:
- Applying ice or heat to the jaw
- Anti-inflammatory or pain medications
- Resting the jaw for several days by eating soft foods
- Treatment for night-time tooth-grinding or jaw clenching
- Stress reduction
- Treatment of underlying dental disorders
- Surgery to repair damaged TMJ joint
If you experience severe pain or you are unable to open or close your mouth, contact your TMJ specialist, or seek emergency medical treatment.
Affordable Dental Atlanta Resources
If you think you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder, seek affordable dental Atlanta resources by checking with your local dental societies or health organizations. Getting the condition treated as soon as possible can ensure the best results.
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