The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), where the jawbone meets the skull, helps you chew and talk. When problems arise with this joint, they are referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or TMJ.
Some patients have an abnormality that causes this joint that to slide out of place. It’s fairly common; in fact, nearly 3 million cases are diagnosed in the United States every year.
However, knowing how common a disorder is doesn’t make the pain any better. Below is everything you need to know about TMJ to make an informed decision about your situation.
How Do You Get TMJ?
A variety of factors can put you more at risk for developing this disorder.
First, if you get a jaw injury, your risk for TMD increases, especially if you have arthritis in the jaw as well. It has also been noted that people who grind or clench their teeth are more susceptible to TMJ as well.
While these aren’t the only factors that result in TMJ, they do seem to play a significant part.
What Are the Symptoms of This Dysfunction?
Your TMJ symptoms will depend on the severity of the problem. Most people feel a lot of pain and achiness in the area where the jaw connects to the skull.
They also report having trouble eating, talking and opening their jaw wide. It can affect one side of your face or both. Some other symptoms include swelling and a clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth.
What Does Treatment Entail?
Treatment mostly depends on the causes of your TMJ and its severity. Your doctor may recommend some home treatment options such as an ice pack and pain meds if it’s not too bad.
Another option is a mouthguard if you tend to grind your teeth a lot. There are many other ways to treat TMJ. The best way to learn about them is to talk with your doctor.
What Happens if You Don’t Get Treatment?
Severe TMJ can be dangerous if left untreated. If you are living in constant pain because of this disorder, get it treated.
Over time, untreated TMJ can result in lopsided facial muscles, worn-down and damaged teeth, hearing loss and jaw problems. A quick visit with your oral surgeon is worth the price to avoid these potential issues.
If you’re suffering from TMJ syndrome, call our office today. We’ll help you get the relief you need!