TMJ, commonly referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, means that the hinge connecting a person’s lower and upper jaw is not working properly. This hinge is responsible for moving the lower jaw from side to side, backward and forward. Any issue that prevents this system of muscles, discs, bones and ligaments from working well is known as TMJ. If you suspect you have a TMJ disorder, you should seek treatment early.
TMJ disorder treatment
TMJ disorders have a variety of signs and symptoms. It is usually hard for people to know for sure if they have TMJ because one or all of the symptoms can be similar to those of other problems. A dentist can help make a proper diagnosis by carrying out a clinical examination, taking a complete dental and medical history and taking the relevant X-rays. Some of the common symptoms of TMJ include earaches, headaches or migraines and pain and pressure behind the eyes. Pain can also be brought on by chewing, yawning or opening the mouth widely. Other symptoms include a popping or clicking sound when a person opens or closes the mouth, tenderness of the jaw muscles and jaws that lock.
Consequences of not seeking treatment for TMJ
A person who notices or experiences some of the signs and symptoms of TMJ should seek treatment as soon as possible. People need treatment for the disorders especially if they have tenderness in the jaw or persistent pain. Seeking medical help is also necessary if a person cannot close or open the jaw completely. If TMJ is not treated, the symptoms can get worse.
Sometimes, the symptoms may go away without any intervention. However, in other cases, the symptoms can continue over time and may even come back. Some people who experience pain continue to suffer thinking the pain will go away without treatment. While this can happen, for many people treatment can help stop the pain. Aside from the pain, untreated TMJ can lead to other serious problems.
Although there is no particular cure for TMJ, there are various effective treatments that can help reduce or ease the symptoms. Treatment may involve conservative medical and dental care and in other cases surgery. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may involve short-term drugs for muscle relaxation and pain, stress management counseling and bite plate or splint therapy. Surgery may be recommended if the other treatment options do not deliver the expected results or if there is joint damage.
For many people, some of the symptoms of TMJ, such as discomfort, may eventually go away on their own. You can opt for simple self-care practices to ease the symptoms. If treatment is necessary, the decision should be based on a reasonable diagnosis. If TMJ is not treated, it can lead to several negative consequences.
The symptoms may worsen and, in some cases, the problem can lead to other serious complications. If you are worried about TMJ, talk to your dentist. Your dentist is fully capable of helping you determine the ideal course of action that can help with your problem. This will ensure that you will get the most appropriate treatment.
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