Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are set of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint of the face. These conditions often result in stiffness, pain, and mobility issues with the jaw and surrounding tissues. Temporomandibular joint disorders affect an estimated 10 million people, making them a very common reason for adults to visit their dentist in an effort to seek relief from the pain. If you’re seeking a dentist for TMJ in Sugar Land in an effort to treat this condition, our office can perform a complete evaluation to get you started on the right treatment path for your needs. Here we will discuss what temporomandibular joint disorders are, how to recognize them, and what to do about them.
What Is TMJ?
As mentioned above, temporomandibular joint disorders are a set of conditions affecting this specific joint of the jaw. This joint is responsible for the movements involved in chewing, speaking, and many other actions we perform with our mouth. Temporomandibular joint disorders can, therefore, make it difficult to perform basic functions as a result of the stiffness and pain they can create.
How to Recognize Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
There are a wide variety of symptoms that can be caused by disorders of the temporomandibular joint. Some of these commonly observed symptoms include the following:
- Stiffness of the jaw joint
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Pain while biting down or chewing
- A clicking noise in the jaw when biting or chewing
- A change in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth
- Limited range of motion with movement of the jaw joint
If you are dealing with any of these life-altering symptoms, please don’t continue to suffer in silence. The office of Dr. Greg Gor has been serving the Sugar Land, Texas area for over a decade. Our experienced staff can help you address your issues so that you can regain proper use of your jaw joint and get relief from the discomfort associated with these conditions.
What are the Common Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Conditions?
In many cases, the exact cause of these types of conditions is not known or cannot be explained. In cases of direct and serious injury to the jaw or face, this can certainly be a precipitating factor for developing these conditions. Additionally, some professionals believe that clenching the jaw due to stress or grinding the teeth at night can put extra strain on the jaw joint, possibly increasing the risk of these types of problems. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the true cause remains unknown.
How are Temporomandibular Joint Conditions Diagnosed?
When you visit a dentist in Sugar Land, Texas, you will likely report the various symptoms you have been experiencing in relation to your jaw joint. In most cases, your dentist will use your symptoms as a basis for diagnosis. There is no one standard test or protocol designed to diagnose these conditions, so the description of your symptoms is what will be used to verify the existence of this type of problem and determine appropriate treatment.
Treatment Options for Temporomandibular Joint Conditions
In some minor cases, symptoms associated with these conditions may improve on their own over time. In many cases, however, the symptoms go on for an extended period of time and can begin to disrupt the patient’s quality of life. Your dentist can recommend exercises and other activities that can result in an improved range of motion, as well as a reduction in stiffness and pain associated with these issues. In some cases, it may be advisable to avoid hard foods for a while. Over the counter or prescription medications that reduce inflammation and pain are also commonly used to treat these problems.
Pain associated with temporomandibular joint conditions can be distressing and disruptive to everyday life, making it a prime reason for individuals to visit an oral health professional. This pain and stiffness don’t have to be something you put up with on a daily basis.
You deserve to live pain free and with the freedom to enjoy your life without the disruptions that TMJ can create. If you are searching for general dentistry in Sugar Land to gain relief from the symptoms that TMJ can create, please contact Olympic Dental today to set up a complete evaluation.