9 Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Feb 01, 2021

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull. It is located on both sides of the head in front of the ears. The TMJ allows the opening or closing of the jaw, which facilitates eating and speaking.

When this joint becomes damaged or injured, it leads to a disorder known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMD. Other causes of TMD are teeth grinding or clenching, arthritis, poor posture, jaw or teeth misalignment, stress, or chewing gum.

People dealing with severe stress grind or clench their teeth. This strains the Temporomandibular Joint and wears down teeth fast, causing toothaches. A visit to the dentist will enable you to identify triggers for the pain by asking about your stress level and how you are managing it. The dentist uses several various imaging tests to diagnose the patient’s condition and suitable treatment methods.

Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

  • Pain around your jaw that is felt on the face or neck
  • Limited movement of the jaw that causes pain while chewing or talking
  • Popping and clicking sound produced by the TMJ when the jaw is moved
  • Locking of the Jaw joint caused by muscle spasms
  • Pain on the shoulders and neck which inhibits movement
  • Earaches which may be accompanied by ringing
  • The patient may have chronic headaches, which may cause dizziness
  • The vision becomes blurry
  • Painful swelling or lump around the temple

Treatment for TMJ Disorder

The disorder is not curable, but our dentist ensures that the patient receives treatments and remedies for long-term relief from the symptoms. These are:

  • TMJ Disorder can be treated at home successfully. The TMJ Specialist near 77493 recommends home treatments and techniques that help the patient relax, manage, or avoid stress. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs and other pain relievers are prescribed to the patient. The patient is advised to use cold packs or ice packs on the inflamed area, eat soft foods, and massage the jaw and neck muscles using sedative essential oils. Oils like clary sage, lavender, marjoram, and chamomile temporarily relieve TMJ pain.
  • Occlusal appliances like mouth guards or oral splints are inserted over the lower and upper teeth to prevent grinding or clenching. They also correct the teeth position and improve your bite.
  • Surgical procedures like arthrocentesis, modified condylotomy, open-joint surgery, and arthroscopy are performed to rectify the disorder. Surgery is performed under anesthesia.
  • Arthrocentesis is a minor surgical procedure. Small needles are inserted into the TM joint to drain the fluid to remove debris and inflammatory products.
  • Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery with few complications and a shorter recovery time. The TMJ specialist makes a small cut at the joint and views inside it using an arthroscope. The inflamed tissue is removed, and the joint is realigned.
  • An open-joint surgery is recommended when the patient has tumors around or inside the joint, a scarred joint, or when the jaw’s bony structures are worn down. The whole area is opened up to improve access.
  • Modified condylotomy is surgery on the mandible instead of the joint itself. It is recommended when the patient experiences locking of the jaw.
  • The patient may resort to alternative techniques to manage the pain caused by TMJ Disorders. These are acupuncture and biofeedback. Biofeedback uses electronic devices that monitor the jaw joint muscles’ tightness and help the patient relax effectively.
  • Muscle relaxants to help the jaw muscles are prescribed by the dentist.
  • The specialist may ask the patients to seek cognitive behavioral therapy, which will reduce stress.

How to Prevent TMJ Disorder

  • Avoid grinding the teeth when stressed. Suitable relaxation and stress reduction techniques should be adapted
  • Once a dentist prescribes dental splint appliances, they should be used as directed
  • Eat soft foods that do not strain the TM Joint
  • While participating in vigorous activities like sports, use proper safety gear to prevent jaw fractures
  • Chewing gum should not be chewed constantly
  • Maintain proper posture that does not strain the jaw and neck muscles
  • Avoid jaw movements that are extreme like yelling or excess yawning

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder causes the patient to be in constant pain, which is unnecessary. Treating it has become relatively easy with our TMJ specialist in Katy, TX. Visit us or call us today for more information and treatment.