Facts about TMJ Therapy

Facts about TMJ Therapy

May 01, 2020

Dentistry involves a lot more than mere caring of the teeth. Dentists are well equipped to treat many oral related problems, including those affecting joints and bones. To the surprise of many, a dentist can help alleviate discomfort related to migraine headaches, neck pain, among other areas of your head. Are you worried about the frequent headaches you are experiencing? Your dentist might have the best treatment for you.

What is TMJ Therapy?

It is a treatment option in dentistry that deals with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is a joint that is located in front of the ears, that connects your jawbone to your skull. It is responsible for enabling movements of the mouth, that is, the lower and the upper jaw. When this joint fails to function properly, it becomes difficult to perform the activities of the mouth, including yawning, chewing, biting, laughing and talking. The disorder of this joint is commonly known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The disorder also causes pain to the muscles that allow the movement of this joint.

What Causes TMD?

This disorder does not have a specific cause. Although a thorough diagnosis can help narrow down to the exact cause, it is usually difficult to examine. Patients who seek TMJ Therapy in Frisco TX tend to have a combination of factors that cause the pain in this joint. This is what makes it important for you to consider TMJ Therapy near you, so you can get expert insights and opinions over your condition.

Still, there are a few causes that have been linked to TMJ pain and discomfort, including the following:

  1. Teeth grinding/bruxism – this is a condition that features excessive grinding of teeth. It is when a patient clenches the lower and the upper jaws together, grinding the upper and lower teeth against each other. This condition puts a lot of tension and pressure on the TMJ, along with the facial muscles, hence resulting in TMD.
  2. Jaw injury – sometimes a traumatic injury can cause the discs of the TMJ to displace, causing pain.
  3. Genetics – if people in your family have suffered from this disorder, you are at a greater risk o getting it as well.
  4. Arthritis
  5. Stress and anxiety – when you are stressed and anxious, you tend to clench your muscles too hard, which might put pressure on your TMJ.

While all the highlighted factors can lead to TMD, it is not certain. Some people habitually have the above-mentioned issues and still do not have the disorder. The bottom line, every TMD is unique and should be approached as so.

Symptoms of TMD

Dysfunctions of the TMJ affect the jawbone. Most patients that require TMJ Therapy in Frisco have problems linked to the jaw. Diagnosing TMJ disorder is best performed by a dentist. They examine the mobility of your upper and lower jaw, checking for any signs of pain and discomfort. One way to establish that you have TMD is by considering the symptoms you are experiencing. Some of the common symptoms include:

  1. Pain when using your mouth – any time you bite foods, chew, laugh or yawn, you may experience pain. The pain may start as being mild but increase in severity over time. The pain is worse when you consume hard foods.
  2. Noises when moving the jaw – if you listen closely, you will hear noises whenever you try to move your jaw up and down.
  3. Swelling around your cheeks – if either one of your cheeks is swollen without any probable cause, it can link back to TMD. The swelling often follows pain and tenderness in the cheek areas.
  4. Ear pain – you may also experience a tingling feeling in your ears, as they are the closest body parts to the temporomandibular joint.
  5. Jaw-locking – this happens in the open mouth position. It is when your upper and lower jaws will not close easily after opening wide. This can happen to you when you yawn, or even when laughing out loud.
  6. Facial pain – this is very evident when you clench your jaw and constrict your facial muscles.
  7. Enamel thinning -when your dentist checks your teeth, he/she will notice that the enamel has thinned out. Over time, this can make your teeth look shorter than they should be.