Chronic pain can cause more than just physical distress; it can be emotionally taxing as well. If you experience constant migraines and headaches or pain whenever you speak, eat, or use your jaw, you may feel hopeless and mentally exhausted from continually trying to alleviate that pain. If you suffer from these symptoms you may have a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, this condition is also referred to as TMJ or TMD.
It can be difficult knowing if you suffer from TMJ disorder, as its symptoms can mimic those of other conditions, leading many people to undergo various forms of diagnosis and treatments before finding the root of the problem. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), there is a prevalence of TMJ in 5-12% of individuals in the U.S., with the largest amount in younger persons and twice as likely to appear in women as men.
Because of the large numbers of individuals who may be suffering from the disorder, understanding the symptoms of TMJ can help you determine if you have the condition so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment. The most common symptoms associated with TMJ include:
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Piercing neck/shoulder pain
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Clicking/popping jaw joints
- Chronic facial and/or jaw pain
- Sensitive and sore teeth
- Limited jaw mobility or locking jaw
- Numbness in the fingers and arms
- Sleep problems
- Trigeminal neuralgia
As you can see, TMJ disorder can lead to a host of symptoms that can cause ongoing pain in many areas of the body. Since it’s not just a matter of jaw pain, you may suffer from TMJ without knowing. The main causes of TMJ disorder are generally linked to malfunctions with the jaw joints. When these joints are misaligned due to genetics or a trauma to the face, TMJ may develop and cause the symptoms listed above.
Fortunately, there are treatment options for this condition. At Warr Dental, Dr. Keith Warr uses neuromuscular dentistry to diagnose and treat TMJ. Dr. Warr will first determine the cause of your TMJ and discuss with you the treatment options available to help you eliminate your pain.
Depending on the severity of your TMJ disorder, we offer the following treatment options:
- Pain management: For minor cases, Dr. Warr may recommend applying moist heat to the affected areas and/or taking anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize your discomfort.
- Night guards: TMJ can be caused by the constant clenching or grinding of teeth that put stress on your jaw joints. For those who clench and grind their teeth, wearing a night guard can help minimize TMJ-related pain.
- Biofeedback: Stress can make your symptoms worsen and could be a contributing factor to your TMJ disorder. Stress management through relaxation training can help alleviate some of your symptoms.
- Orthodontics: TMJ can be caused by a misaligned bite. Correcting the alignment of your jaw and teeth with orthodontics could ease your pain
During your consultation with Dr. Warr, he’ll evaluate your symptoms to determine the proper course of treatment to help you with your pain. If you’d like to learn more about TMJ treatment options available at Warr Dental, please contact us by filling out the form on this page or by calling us at 801-216-3713 to schedule your evaluation. We’ve proudly been offering quality dental services to those in the Salt Lake City, Utah area for over 60 years.