Apr 9, 2013

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The Importance of TMJ Treatment

There are many painful dental issues that can affect almost anyone regardless of your dental history. One of the most common is TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint disorder. TMJ is typically characterized by pain in the jaw around the the front of the ear where the jaw bone attaches to the skull. This pain can manifest itself in the form of headaches, throat pain, discomfort opening or closing the jaw, locking of the jaw, and limited opening of the jaw. As it worsens it can cause the jaw to crack, pop, and grate in the jaw joint. Because these symptoms can lead to much more serious conditions it is very important to look into TMJ Treatment with a dental professional.

The cause of TMJ can be attributed to several factors. Trauma to the jaw, arthritis, and neck conditions should all be taken into consideration, but the most common cause is stress. When you are dealing with stress it is very easy to clench your jaw. As the frequency of clenching increases more pressure is put on the jaw joint. This in turn leads to soreness of the jaw and eventually the clicking or popping of the joint. Clenching of the jaw can also lead to tooth grinding. Although you may not think you’re doing this, it can commonly happen in your sleep causing you to wake up with sore jaw muscles. Grinding of the teeth leads to excessive tooth wear and bite misalignment. The combination of all of this can create a sore, clicking, stiff jaw and damaged teeth that will only lead to bigger problems if left untreated.

To treat TMJ it is best to consult a dental professional who is well versed on the condition. Most often the dentist will work with you on bite correction and use bite guard therapy. If your condition involves stress, medication and physical therapy are additional options that can be incorporated into your treatment plan. TMJ surgery is also an option, but should only be considered as a last resort.

Since there is no treatment that can correct the disorder it is important to remain patient and follow the plan your dentist prescribes. TMJ can be an unpleasant experience, but with the proper treatment you can live your life with minimal discomfort.

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