One of the biggest indicators of a serious oral health issue is not in the teeth or gums, but the jaw.
Persistent pain or sensitivity in this area could be an indication of TMJ disorder. TMJ health is a serious issue, and it is important to seek help from a medical professional when you think you might be suffering from TMJ disorder.
A dentist or oral hygiene expert can tell you all about TMJ and help you determine whether you have it or not. Here in this guide, we’ll help you assess for yourself whether or not you could benefit from seeing a professional about TMJ therapy.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It refers to a joint at either side of your face. It connects the skull and jawbone, which makes it essential to many basic bodily functions. These include communication, or speaking, as well as chewing and eating. We even use this joint to breathe out of our mouths. The TMJ is responsible for pretty much anything you can do with your mouth.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) can be severe and intense. They are mysterious disorders. It is impossible to know their exact cause. However, it is important to recognise signs of TMDs early so that you can quickly begin to seek treatment and return to full health.
There are a few types of TMDs. There is temporomandibular disorder (TMD), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), and TMJ disorder. This joint is incredibly important to so many of the body’s systems. This is why the symptoms vary so much in location and type.
You might need TMJ therapy if you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
This might sound odd to you at first, and ear pain can occur for many reasons unrelated to the jaw. However, it is possible that it could be the result of temporomandibular disorder. Ear pain is a common symptom because the TMJ connects the temporal portion of the skull to the jaw. This occurs near the ear. The ear, therefore, can quickly become affected by TMD, leading to pain and discomfort. Stay alert for any ear pain, or pain in surrounding areas.
Discomfort While Eating
As TMJ is between the skull and jawbone, TMD can severely impact eating. If your jaw is sensitive or painful while chewing or eating, you might have a TMD. Consider seeking help from a medical professional as soon as possible.
The jaw directly attaches to the TMJ, which puts the jaw at risk of being impacted by a TMD. While this may not prevent you from using your jaw, it is uncomfortable and impractical.
The Joint Becoming Locked
This particular symptom can be dangerous and even scary. However, with the assistance of TMJ therapy, it is possible to prevent this condition. Occasionally, as a result of TMDs, the joint itself can lock. This prevents you from having control over opening your jaw.
If you are experiencing locking around your ear and jaw that makes it difficult or impossible to move your jaw, you may benefit from TMJ therapy.
Pain in the TMJ
Your TMJs are on each side of your face. If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in either or both of these areas, you may need therapy. Pain in your TMJ is a sign that you may have a TMD.
Fleeting pain could be TMD. However, most often, it is recurring or consistent pain that occurs over time. Persistent pain or discomfort means it is time for a trip to the dentist. Any expert in oral health will be able to help you sort out the cause of the pain.
If you recently experienced an injury that affected the face, head, and neck, you could be at risk of a TMD. Be on high alert about changes to your body during this time. Any facial pain could be a sign of damage to the TMJ. If persistent pain makes it difficult to function, see your dentist for more information. This is also the case with arthritis and myofascial pain.
Failing the Self-Test
There is a simple test that can help determine the presence of TMJ disorders. Begin by touching the jaw joint between the ear and the face. Now open your jaw and feel for joint movement. If your joint makes some clicking or grating noises, you may want to consider seeing a dentist.
This at-home diagnosis tip can help you catch TMDs before it is too late. It is not the be-all, end-all of tests. However, it is a quick and free solution that can help you determine whether or not you have a TMJ disorder.
It can be difficult dealing with the symptoms of TMJ. They can be painful and prevent the use of your body. However, TMJ therapy can help change this so that you feel free to live your life again.
What Can TMJ Therapy Do for You?
Disorders of the temporomandibular joint can be painful and make it difficult to function normally. We need our jaw and TMJ to speak, chew, and open our mouths. TMJ therapy can alleviate the painful symptoms of a disorder. It can also restore functionality so that you can return to living your life.
TMJ therapy consists of massaging and stimulating certain muscles and joints in the mouth and face. Medicine also can assist with managing side effects. Surgery is a rarity, but it can be helpful for severe cases of TMJ.
Consult your dentist today if you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of TMD. If any of the above is true, be sure to investigate further and catch the disorder early so that you can protect your entire body from serious consequences of letting TMJ disorders go untreated.