When a person is able to chew, speak, and swallow without any difficulty or pain, it means that the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are working properly. However, as many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders that cause pain and dysfunction when the jaw moves. Fortunately, oral surgeons specialize in treating TMJ disorders to restore comfort and function.
What Are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders are any problems that impact the temporomandibular joints that connect the lower jaw to the side of the head. Normally, these joints are flexible to allow the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side, which in turn makes it possible to chew and talk. For people with TMJ disorders, some type of trauma to the joints has led to pain and discomfort. The most common sources of trauma include teeth grinding, tooth and jaw misalignment, injury, and arthritis.
Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?
Many people experience a clicking noise in the jaw when chewing, talking, or yawning, but that alone does not indicate a TMJ disorder. The most common symptom is pain when chewing, but other signs of a TMJ disorder include pain radiating down the jaw and neck, jaw muscle stiffness, limited movement of the jaw, and a noticeable change in the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together. Since facial pain might also indicate other problems, like sinus infections, facial neuralgias, and headaches, it’s important to have a TMJ disorder definitively diagnosed by an oral surgeon.
How Can a TMJ Disorder Be Treated?
You can help alleviate symptoms of your TMJ disorder at home by eating softer foods, practicing relaxation techniques that minimize jaw tension, and using heat packs to reduce pain. Experienced oral surgeons like Dr. Seider and Dr. Stevens at Broward Oral Surgery Associates in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, Florida can also provide different dental treatments to minimize TMJ pain. You may need to fix your uneven bite, reshape a few teeth, wear a night guard on your teeth, or use a stabilization splint.
To learn more about TMJ disorders and the treatment options available for you to finally escape your pain and discomfort, call (954) 870-4826 or (954) 241-3143 to schedule your appointment at Broward Oral Surgery Associates today.