TMJ, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, makes it difficult to chew based on dysfunction in the jaw, including teeth, muscles, bone, and joints. The condition will constrict how much you’ll actually be able to move your jaw and causes a great deal of pain. TMJ problems are more common in women between the ages of 20 and 40, and are actually the second most common cause of orofacial pain, second to problems with your teeth.
Some common symptoms of TMJ problems include chronic pain around your jaw and ear, limited motion, difficulty chewing, facial pain, locking of the jaw, or the presence of a clicking/popping sound, which you will usually hear when you open your mouth. TMJ problems are interesting as well in that they cause problems in your head and ear as well. Your scalp may even begin to feel sensitive, based on how strong the pain is. You may also experience balance problems or inhibited hearing based on the pain.
Dealing with TMJ problems on a daily basis can be incredibly debilitating and will really begin to impact your quality of life. Something as simple as grinding your teeth or going through a stressful period in your life can cause the condition to flare up. So how do you stop temporomandibular joint dysfunction? Treatments will vary, depending on your unique case. Overall, fixing your jaw’s alignment will relieve a great deal of the pain. However, there are different ways of treating TMJ problems in order to accomplish that. An Upper East Side TMJ specialist can construct an oral appliance designed to fix your bite, thus realigning your jaw.
Other TMJ treatment procedures include medication. Anti-inflammatories will mask the pain and, ideally, relax your muscles. Managing TMJ problems will usually cross disciplines, so a TMJ specialist in Midtown may also recommend stress management counseling or physical therapy. Some specialists ay use BOTOX injections, in order to keep the hyperactivity of your jaw muscles to a minimum.
However, there are surgical procedures as well if none of these TMJ treatment procedures are effective. An arthoscopy, a procedure used to treat larger joints, is one example of treating TMJ problems surgically. Tissue and entire joints can also be replaced, usually if there is severe damage done by TMJ problems.