TMJ Q & A
What Are the Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder?
Patients with Temporomandibular disorders can suffer a variety of symptoms in varying degrees, lasting anywhere from a few days to several years. Symptoms most commonly affect adults between the ages of 20 to 40 and can be felt on one or both sides of the face.
The most common sign of TMJ is a pain in the jaw, face, shoulders, or neck while you chew or open your mouth. This pain can be accompanied by popping, clicking or grating noise when the mouth opens. The jaw may also get locked in an open position, or the face may simply feel tired or swollen.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
Unfortunately, the underlying cause of temporomandibular disorders is unknown. However, there triggers that can cause the disease to develop. These catalysts include injury to the jaw, neck or head due to blunt force trauma or whiplash.
Grinding your teeth while sleeping can also stress the joint, leading to pressure and potential damage. In another situation, the disc between the ball and socket of the jaw experiences too much motion which can then lead to irritation. Other potential causes include arthritis of the joint and the patient being overly stressed.
What Is the Treatment for a TMJ Disorder?
Dr. Donia can design a treatment plan to help you deal with TMJ issues through a variety of therapies including the use of medications that help to relax the muscles and reduce pain and swelling. He may also recommend a device such as a splint or dental mouthpiece to help keep your upper and lower teeth from touching while you sleep. Splints are typically worn all the time and will also help to correct any mild abnormality with your bite.
Fixing missing teeth can also help correct the way you move your jaw. Dr. Donia may also suggest crowns, braces, or bridges to help guide your jaw and bite into the proper position.