Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems are a common dental condition faced by many people. People with TMJ problems may not even realize that it is their jaw causing the difficulty as the pain may feel like a headache or tooth sensitivity. Because of this, it is important to get diagnosed and treated by a dentist who is experienced in caring for patients with these problems.
Causes of TMJ Problems
There are many causes of TMJ problems, including having teeth or jaw bones that are misaligned. Malocclusion makes your jaw work harder to chew, which can overwork the TMJ. Stress and teeth grinding are also common causes of TMJ pain. You might not even realize that you are grinding or clenching your jaw when you are stressed as some people grind their teeth at night while they are sleeping. Arthritis can also wear down the TMJ, causing pain and dysfunction. A dislocation or injury of your jaw may also cause disorders of the TMJ.
How TMJ Is Diagnosed
When you see a dentist for TMJ problems, a diagnosis will be made through an exam and some imaging studies of your jaw. The dentist may ask you to open and close your jaw a few times to listen for popping or clicking sounds. The dentist may also touch the TMJ and see how it feels when you move your jaw. An X-ray may also be performed to get a look at the damage to the TMJ.
Treatment Options for TMJ
TMJ treatments begin with conservative care, such as muscle relaxants. You may be given a night guard if you grind your teeth, and orthodontic care may be ordered as well.
Contact the office of Joshua Ignatowicz, DMD, today to schedule an appointment for the treatment of TMJ problems.