The Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ is akin to a sliding joint that connects your jaw to your skull. There is a joint on either side of the jaw. A disorder in this joint can cause pain in the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles.
It can be difficult to determine precisely the cause of TMJ pain. It may be caused by arthritis, perhaps you had injured your jaw at one time, or it may be a genetic issue. Many people that suffer from a TML disorder will clench their jaws or grind their teeth. In many cases, the disorder is temporary and is easily managed. Whether temporary or worse, TMJ pain and treatment in New York is available.
The Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
If you are suffering from TMJ, your jaw will be tender and painful. There may be a dull ache around your ear, and you will have difficulty chewing. In worse cases, the jaw joint will “lockup,” making it difficult to open or close your mouth. You may also hear a clicking sound as you move your jaw.
What Causes TMJ?
The TMJ allows your jaw to open, close and slide. The surfaces of the bones where movement takes place are covered with cartilage and kept separate by a disc that acts as a shock absorber. TMJ pain can occur when the shock-absorbing disc moves or erodes, or if there is cartilage damage or the joint is subjected to trauma.
Often, the symptoms of TMJ go away without any intervention. If TMJ pain persists, the dentist can treat it with medication or therapy.
If OTC pain-relievers do not relieve the pain, your dentist can prescribe medication that is more powerful. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen are a cornerstone of treatment. Your dentist may also put you on a course of muscle relaxants.
Physical therapy such as exercise, heat, and ice treatments as well as ocular appliances is often helpful in eliminating or at least reducing associated pain.
A dentist can help identify the source of the pain with a thorough exam and appropriate x-rays and will recommend what type of treatment is needed. Dr. Shekib in New York is trained and certified for the treatment of TMJ Disorders. Click here to know more.