If you are someone who experiences constant and severe jaw pain, there is a good possibility that you may have TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. It is common for patients with chronic headaches and jaw pain not to realize that the pain comes from the joint connecting the jaw bone to the skull. The temporomandibular joint is a hinge-like joint that allows the jaw bone to move and perform its necessary functions. Over time and due to specific stresses and pressures, the joint can cause problems. Are you experiencing jaw pain? Do you think you might have TMD? We can help you identify this disorder and treat you with TMJ therapy that we offer at our Kellogg, ID dental office.
How do I Know I Have TMJ Disorder?
There are many signs that you could be suffering from a TMD. Below we have listed some of the most common ones we suggest patients look out for.
- Clicking or popping in the jaw while chewing or speaking
- Pain and swelling in the jaw area where the joint is located
- Chronic headaches can be caused by tension
- You notice a slight or significant alignment difference within your smile
- It is painful to chew or clench your jaw
- Ringing in your ears or earaches since the joint is right below the ear
Although you can look out for signs, it is impossible to know for a fact whether you have a TMD unless you get it diagnosed by a dental professional.
What Causes TMD?
What causes TMD is different and unique to the patient. The most common reason for developing a TMD is a strain on the joints and muscles that allow us to chew, grind our teeth, swallow, and speak. We use these muscles constantly each day, and pain can start to occur with excessive use.
Strain is most likely to come from bruxism or the grinding of the teeth. Our teeth are not meant to grind together, so when it occurs, damage can happen, and the muscles used to perform the grinding can become irritated. If you know that you grind your teeth, whether consciously or while you are sleeping, it is essential to let us know so we can help get you the help you need.
At Complete Dental Care, we offer high-quality and complete care to all patients. When it comes to therapy for a TMD/TMJ, there are many things that you can be doing on your own to either prevent it from occurring or worsening. Some tips that we give our patients are:
- Chewing gum exercises our facial muscles, but it can be excessive if done constantly. Avoid chewing gum frequently. Give your muscles a break.
- Most people, subconsciously, are constantly clenching their jaw while their mouths are closed. At Complete Dental Care, we like to remind our patients to keep their teeth apart while their mouth is closed.
- For tension headaches, take over-the-counter medication.
We hate seeing our patients in pain, and we want to help correct your disorder as soon as possible to get you feeling like yourself again. We can also help you prevent bruxism by creating a customized mouth guard in our office. You can wear mouth guards while you sleep. It is a small device that you bite on while sleeping instead of your teeth grinding together.
Why do I Need to Receive TMJ Therapy?
Jaw pain caused by a TMD can last long if you do not receive therapy. Receiving help from a dental professional will help you figure out the reason for your disorder and how to best treat and prevent it. Call our Dental Office in Kellogg, ID. You are only one call away from receiving the care you need to stop your constant jaw and facial pains. We are here to help, so please give us a call.