Many people might not be aware, but our jawbone and skull are connected by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which sounds like a sliding hinge. On either side of your jaw, there is a joint. Temporomandibular disorders, sometimes known as TMDs, include TMJ problems, which can hurt your jaw joint and the muscles that move it. It might be challenging to pinpoint the precise etiology of TMJ dysfunction in an individual. A combination of variables, such as heredity, arthritis, or a jaw injury, could cause your pain. Although many people routinely clench or grind their teeth without developing TMJ issues, some people with jaw pain tend to do so (bruxism). Most of the time, self-managed care or nonsurgical therapies can make the pain and suffering brought on by TMJ issues go away. Although it is usually only used as a last resort when all other options have failed, certain TMJ disease sufferers may benefit from surgical therapy.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
Some warning signs and symptoms of TMJ issues include:
- Having jaw discomfort or tenderness
- Temporomandibular joint discomfort, either in one or both joints
- throbbing pain behind and in your ear
- chewing is painful or challenging
- painful face ache
- joint locking, making it challenging to open or close your lips
When you open your mouth or chew, TMJ issues can also produce a clicking sound or a grating sensation. However, you generally don’t need therapy for a TMJ condition if your jaw clicking is not accompanied by pain or a restriction in your range of motion.
What are the causes of TMJ disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) functions as a hinge and a sliding joint at the same time. A small shock-absorbing disk separates the sections of the bones that interact in the joint and covers them, which usually keeps movement fluid. There can be several factors that can also affect, and it can be excruciating if:
- The disk deteriorates or shifts out of alignment.
- Arthritis erodes the cartilage in the joint.
- A blow or other impact causes the joint to become injured.
When to see a doctor?
If your jaw continues to hurt or feel painful, or if you have trouble fully opening or closing it, get medical assistance. Possible causes and remedies for your issue might be discussed with your Edmonton dentist.
What are the risk factors?
The following factors can raise your risk of acquiring TMJ disorders:
- Several kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Jaw damage
- long-term (chronic) teeth clenching or grinding
- Specific connective tissue illnesses may impact the temporomandibular joint.
How are TMJ conditions identified?
The diagnosis of TMJ issues can be challenging. Most illnesses under that heading cannot be diagnosed using a normal test. A doctor might suggest you visit a dentist to diagnose your illness. A medical expert may check you to discover whether there is any swelling or pain. Additionally, they could employ a variety of imaging tests.
- X-rays – You typically bite down on a small mouthpiece while the dentist swings an imaging machine around your head to take X-rays of your jaw and teeth. X-rays will give your dentist in Edmonton a better understanding of the position of your teeth and the bones in and around your jaw.
- CT scan – Your doctor can view the jaw’s bones and joint tissues in greater detail with a CT scan than with a standard X-ray.
- MRI – A jaw MRI will show whether the jaw’s structural issues are present. A magnetic field is used in an MRI scan, also known as magnetic resonance imaging, to provide precise images of the organs and tissues.
We at Smile Zone Dental will be happy to offer you a comprehensive exam and prescribe a proper care plan. Call us at 780-989-5733 to book an appointment!