Causes of TMJ Pain
TMJ pain can be caused by injury, wear to the jaw, and oral lifestyle habits. Trauma, either micro-trauma or macro trauma, could cause TMJ pain. Microtrauma could be caused by bruxism. This persistent pressure on the TMJ joint could change the symmetry of the teeth. The involvement of this muscle in clenching and grinding causes the membranes and ligaments to get inflamed. Macro trauma involves external injury like a blow to the jaw or damage from an accident that could dislodge the joint cartilage.
During a lengthy and complex dental procedure, the jaw could remain open for too long, causing pain in the TMJ joint. Habits like continuous gum chewing or biting on things for a long time while awake could cause TMJ discomfort. Arthritis is another common cause of TMJ disorder as the jaw joint is not exempted from osteoarthritis or joint degeneration. Other causes of TMJ disorder include rheumatoid arthritis, malignant tumors, and bone abnormality that ensues at birth.
Symptoms of TMJ Pain
TMJ pain can be characterized by jaw discomfort or inflammation, most common during the night and early morning. One may experience migraines, pain behind the ears, face, eyes, neck, jaw clicking, and locking. When you have TMJ disorder, mouth movements are usually limited, you may feel dizzy, or have tingling or numbness in the fingers. The face and oral cavity may swell, and the patient could experience psychological distress. It is possible to notice a misalignment in the upper and lower teeth, grinding teeth, or sensitivity in the teeth without any present dental problems.
TMJ Pain Management
Temporomandibular pain disorder can be managed by correcting the sleeping and sitting posture to straighten the muscles and prevent stress on the jaw joint. Most TMJ pain is temporary and can be managed through hot or cold packs to normalize blood flow. Patients should also learn relaxation and stress therapies and try to reduced habits like teeth grinding by using mouth guards while asleep. OTC medicines and pain medications can be used to relieve distress. Patients must observe a soft food diet to help ease and relax the jaw joint muscles. Patients should also get adequate rest.
In case these non-invasive approaches do not help relieve the TMJ pain, a dental professional can help treat the disorder through injections to the jaw to ease the gliding of the joint. Dentists also make incisions to remove inflamed tissue and bone through surgery. It is important to assess the triggers of your TMJ pain to prevent a recurrence. Visit us at Camas Dentistry or book an appointment through 360-837-5992 for more inquiries on TMJ treatment.