The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a vital joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It controls the movements of your jaw, allowing you to chew, talk, and yawn. A temporomandibular disorder is called a TMJ, short for temporomandibular disorder. Those suffering from TMJs have difficulty speaking, eating, and swallowing.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might have a problem with your TMJ:
- When you eat or open your mouth, you experience excruciating pain in your jaw, neck, shoulders, and face
- You can’t seem to open your mouth wide enough
- You are experiencing lock-jaw
- Opening and closing your mouth is accompanied by popping or clicking sounds
- You feel uncomfortable when eating
- Your face feels tired
- You’re experiencing facial swelling
A definitive cause for temporomandibular disorders has not been determined. Known risk factors for these disorders include whiplash, stress, and arthritis.
TMJ Treatment at Richmond West Dental
In order to diagnose your TMJ, we will ask you questions about your health history. You may be more susceptible to temporomandibular disorders if you have sinus problems or gum disease. We will also perform a thorough physical examination to determine if you are showing any of the signs described above. An x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be needed in certain situations to assess the movement of the jaws and the temporomandibular joint.
Based on the results of the physical examination and radiography, our dentists will determine whether you need to see a maxillofacial surgeon. Occasionally, our dentist will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve muscle pain. The dentist may recommend a nightguard if the disorders are caused by teeth grinding.
Home Remedies for TMJ Disorders
It can be painful and uncomfortable to suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders. If you are suffering from pain at home here are a few ways to relieve it:
- Avoid sudden, extreme movements of your jaw as these can hurt your jaw and make it worse
- Eat softer foods such as yogurt and mashed potatoes instead of hard foods like raw carrots
- Make sure that you maintain proper posture when holding your phone and avoid holding it between your ear and shoulder
- Use cold packs to alleviate pain and swelling
Professional care should always be sought instead of using home remedies. Get in touch with Richmond West Dental in Toronto, Ontario, if you have any problems with your jaw.