Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a collection of complex problems affecting the jaw, facial muscles, and temporomandibular joints. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder each year and most people who experience symptoms do not seek professional help. This article will discuss the causes and treatments of TMJ disorders. It will also provide answers to some commonly asked questions about TMJ in Jacksonville, Florida.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
1. Trauma or Injury
Trauma to the face and jaw area is one of the most common causes of TMJ disorder. This can include physical trauma such as a blow to the face, and it can also include dental trauma such as an improperly fitting dental appliance or orthodontic treatment.
Arthritis is another common cause of TMJ disorder. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of inflammatory joint diseases can cause pain and inflammation in the jaw area.
Stress is another major contributing factor to TMJ disorder. When we are stressed, our body tenses up and clenches the muscles around the jaw, causing tightness and pain in the temporomandibular joint.
Misalignment of the temporomandibular joint can also cause TMJ disorder. This is often due to a bad bite or teeth grinding and can lead to pain and discomfort in the jaw area.
5. Jaw Clenching/Grinding
Jaw clenching and grinding are common and can lead to TMJ disorder. This is often due to stress or other emotional triggers and can cause pain in the jaw, neck, and head.
Treatments for TMJ Disorder
1. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatments for TMJ disorder. Physical therapy involves exercises and stretches that are designed to strengthen the muscles around the jaw and ease discomfort in the temporomandibular joint.
Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants can help manage the pain and inflammation caused by TMJ disorder.
Splints and mouthguards are also used to treat TMJ disorder. These devices help prevent teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment of the temporomandibular joints, and can also provide relief from TMJ-related pain.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat TMJ disorder. This can involve reshaping the jawbone or joint, repositioning the jaw, or replacing the joint with an artificial one.
5. Lifestyle Changes
Making lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, avoiding jaw clenching and teeth grinding, eating a balanced diet, and practicing good posture can help reduce TMJ-related pain and improve overall health.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a painful and debilitating condition that can have a significant impact on quality of life. While TMJ disorder can be caused by many different factors, the good news is that there are effective treatments available to help manage TMJ-related pain and improve overall health. At Baymeadows Park Dental, our specialists are available to diagnose TMJ disorder and recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Q: What is TMJ disorder?
A: TMJ disorder is a painful condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull. It can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw area as well as headaches and tinnitus.
Q: What are the causes of TMJ disorder?
A: TMJ disorder can be caused by many factors, including injury, misalignment, jaw clenching/grinding, and stress.
Q: How is TMJ disorder treated?
A: Treatment for TMJ disorder includes physical therapy, medications, splints/mouthguards, surgery, and lifestyle changes.