The Temporomandibular joint is the complex connection between your jaw and your skull. Such a complex joint is naturally more prone to medical conditions. The most common source of these conditions is the muscles and joints of the jaw not working together correctly. Some symptoms that can reveal the presence of a medical condition can include pain or a ‘clicking’ sound. While medical concerns in the TMJ are common, recent advances have made them easier to diagnose. The earlier these concerns are identified, the more likely it is that effective treatment is possible.
Understanding The Concerns That May Trouble Your Jaw
There are numerous reasons that you may begin to experience concerns with your TMJ. The joint in your jaw may have become damaged due to injury, disease, or poor oral habits. Clenching your jaw and/or grinding your teeth can cause stress on the joint and cause your muscles to tighten. Arthritis or an injury may tear the ligaments in the joint or damage the joint itself. Injuries like this can lead to the cartilaginous disc sliding out of position. Regardless of the cause, the resulting issues may include grating sounds, clicking, pain, or a misaligned bite.
Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
- Do you often find that you clench your jaw or grind your teeth?
- Do you wake up with stiffness or soreness in your jaw muscles?
- Do you often have neck aches or headaches?
- Do you experience significant pain when you clench your teeth?
- Do you hear clicking, popping, or grating when you open your mouth?
- Does your jaw lock or catch?
- Is yawning, eating, or opening your mouth wide painful?
- Have you ever experienced a jaw, head, or neck injury?
- Do you have arthritis elsewhere in your body?
- When you bite down, do some of your teeth not touch?
- Do you occasionally or consistently experience a misaligned bite?
- Do you find it difficult to tear or bite food with your front teeth?
- Do you have teeth that are worn, broken, loose, or sensitive?
No single symptom above is directly indicative of a TMJ Disorder. However, if you experience multiple symptoms from this list, the likelihood of a TMJ Disorder increases.
Treatment Options For TMJ Disorder
In most cases, TMJ Disorder is treatable and temporary. Our office in San Diego, CA, provides numerous treatment options depending on the specific cause of your condition. Below is a list of things you can do as part of your treatment before and after being seen at West Coast Oral Surgery. These work best when used in coordination with specialist guided care.
Self-Care Treatments for TMJ
- Allow your jaw to rest
- Avoid clenching your teeth using a mouthguard
- Select soft foods when your jaw is sore
- Alternately apply ice and heat to your jaw
- Regularly exercise your jaw
- Take steps to ensure you maintain good posture
When you visit West Coast Oral Surgery located in San Diego, CA, you’ll have a complete dental exam. During this visit, your options will be discussed with Dr. Matin, and a treatment plan will be developed. If you suspect you’re experiencing symptoms related to TMJ Disorder, call us today to get relief!