TMJ disorder – Overview & Care Instructions

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) links your mandible (lower jaw) to your scalp. It is present on both head sides, directly above the ears and near the cheekbones. It lets the jaw expand and close, allowing for speech and eating.

Temporomandibular disorder is a condition that affects the jaw muscles, joints, and nerves, resulting in chronic facial pain. It may worsen if not treated, and lead to other dental complications. Neck and shoulder discomfort, malnutrition, and eating disorders can all result from untreated TMJ. TMJ problem is more frequent in adults aged 20 to 40, and it affects women more than men. It can also be caused by injuries to the jaw, head, or neck in certain situations.

Your dentist may examine your jaw to determine whether there is inflammation or stiffness, as well as do imaging tests. The problem usually resolves in a few weeks.

Causes of TMJ disorders:

  • Jaw trauma 
  • Dental surgery 
  • Infections 
  • Structural jaw disorders evident at birth 
  • Arthritis and clenching or grinding the teeth

Symptoms:

  • Ear discomfort, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
  • The cheeks and lips may get inflamed around the afflicted joint.
  • TMJ can also cause headaches and dizziness, as well as acid reflux.
  • Jaw muscle tightness.

How to alleviate TMJ pain:

You must avoid grinding or clenching your teeth, as well as anything else that puts pressure on the joint.

  • Physical therapy

Chin tucks, tongue up, and forward jaw are a few exercises that might help a lot. These workouts are an effective TMJ treatment at home.

  • Tongue up

Slowly open and close the mouth while staying in touch with the upper jaw in the tongue-up exercise. One must repeat the process multiple times to make it work.

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your jaw, don’t wait till it’s too late. Visit our Downtown Toronto Dental Office, Richmond West Dental today!

Image credit: Freepik

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