TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, occurs when patients frequently clench their teeth, usually when they are asleep. Putting pressure on the teeth and jaws and straining the jaw muscles every night can lead to serious consequences, which is why we always recommend that patients visit our office for treatment as soon as they can. In this blog, we look at three signs you may have TMJ.
1. Jaw Pain, Stiffness, or Soreness
One of the most common TMJ symptoms is pain in and around the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the top of the jaw to the skull. This pain can spread to the ears and rest of the face, and even cause tension in the neck, shoulders, and back. If you often wake up to jaw pain, it’s likely that you were unconsciously clenching your jaw throughout the night.
2. Frequent Headaches
Headaches are a symptom of many different ailments and disorders, and patients who suffer from frequent headaches may find it very difficult to diagnose and treat the cause of their pain. If your headaches often occur in the morning after you wake up, it’s possible that they are being caused by the stress that is being put on your TMJ. If you get a lot of headaches and experience additional TMJ symptoms as well, it’s worth scheduling a visit with our team.
3. Jaw Clicking or Lockjaw
Excess pressure on the temporomandibular joint can lead to inflammation, which can cause additional issues aside from pain and soreness. Jaw clicking or popping is a key indicator that frequent jaw clenching is occurring. In severe cases, patients may have difficulty opening their mouths all the way and chewing food. These symptoms can have a great impact on a patient’s daily life as well as their physical and oral health.
TMJ Therapy at North Richland Hills Dentistry
Looking for a dentist in North Richland Hills that provides TMJ therapy? Our team would be happy to help. Contact our office today!
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Around 12% of people in the United States have a TMJ disorder. If you’re experiencing symptoms like jaw pain, a clicking sound when you open your mouth, or difficulty moving your jaw, you may be part of that group! Luckily, we offer therapy that can help.
What Is TMJ?
“TMJ” is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint. You have two of these joints connecting both sides of your jawbone to your skull. You use them to chew, talk, yawn, and so on. If either of the TMJ joints gets hurt or tenses up, all these activities are affected. It’s often hard to figure out why someone has a TMJ disorder, but causes can include an injury, arthritis, teeth-grinding, autoimmune diseases, dental surgery, or an infection.
What Is TMJ Therapy?
Dentists can offer relief to patients with TMJ. We’ll teach you exercises that stretch your muscles and release tension in your jaw. Therapy may also involve a custom mouthguard. Mouthguards protect your teeth from clenching, grinding, and other damage. They’re usually worn at night, but we may recommend wearing one during the day, too.
How Do You Know If You Have a TMJ Disorder?
Wondering if you have TMJ and need therapy? Common signs include:
- Clicking and popping in your jaw
- Pain in your jaw, ear, and face
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Worn-down teeth (from grinding)
Anyone can develop TMJ disorders, but research shows women tend to get it more than men. You’re also more likely to have issues if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth when you’re stressed.
TMJ Therapy at North Richland Hills Dentistry in North Richland Hills, Texas
While we may not know what causes a TMJ disorder in every case, TMJ therapy can ease your jaw pain and give you better jaw movement! No matter how mild or severe your TMJ is, Dr. Desai and the team are ready to offer the most effective treatments. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please get in touch today!
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