TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint syndrome is a disorder of the muscles that connect your jaw to the rest of your skull. It is a broad term for a number of possible symptoms that you may experience with your jaw. TMJ is a dangerous disorder that can lead to serious health problems and long term damage if left untreated.
These days, dentists are becoming more and more proactive about jaw pain and issues and will check your jaw and temporomandibular joint health when you go in for regular dental checkups. Luckily, as this condition is understood better and better, dentists can help people avoid pain and damage to their mouth and jaw.
TMJ in Detail
TMJ syndrome is a broad term for issues with the jaw joint in general. There are many possible symptoms that indicate you may be suffering from TMJ such as:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Ear pain
- Popping sounds in the ear
- Stiff or sore jaw muscles
- Locking of the joint
TMJ is the term that covers all of these issues because they all stem from damage or a problem with the same joint. The joint can be damaged by outside trauma such as an injury or accident or from repetitive behaviors that people exhibit such as grinding their teeth or chewing on inappropriate things like plastics or pencils and similar items.
Remedies for TMJ
While TMJ can become a serious issue if left untreated, there are a number of things you can try at home. These therapies are good for short term or one-off instances. If you occasionally suffer from a sore jaw, try the following remedies:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen
- Gentle massage of the neck and jaw area
- Ice pack on the jaw muscles
- Avoid unnecessary chewing (gum, foreign objects, etc.)
However, if you find that TMJ occurs frequently, you need to contact your dentist to find out about long term solutions and what might be causing the problem. Research into TMJ has shown that grinding teeth is a primary cause along with poor posture when sitting in chairs long term such as in an office job. For others, existing medical conditions can cause inflammation such as those with inflammatory arthritis and injuries to the face, neck or jaw.
Don’t Suffer from Jaw Pain
If you have been suffering from jaw pain for a long time, or want to know more about any recent pain, contact Hassey Dental today for a consultation and check up. Our experienced staff can help diagnose pain in your mouth, jaw and neck and help you find out how to treat TMJ in the near and long term.