If you’re experiencing pain inside your jaw, you might automatically assume you have TMJ. But exactly what are TMJ disorders? Many don’t realize that TMJ actually stands for temporomandibular joint and not the disorder itself. TMD, or temporomandibular disorders, occurs when there is a problem with the jaw, jaw joint or surrounding muscles and they aren’t working together properly.
Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
Pain and discomfort are the biggest side effects of TMD, especially in your jaw, face, neck, ear and shoulders. This can be from grinding and clenching your teeth, a past injury to your TMJ, or stress or rheumatoid arthritis in your TMJ. If you hear a popping or clicking noise when you open your mouth, experience “stuck” or lockjaw, are unable to open your mouth very wide or have swelling on the side of your face, these are all signs you may have TMD. Other symptoms include toothaches, headaches, dizziness, earaches or ringing in the ears.
How to Put Your TMJ Disorders Behind You
You don’t have to keep putting up with these symptoms. It’s time to do something about it! If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to contact your dentist to look over your dental history and examine your mouth to see if you’re at risk for TMJ disorders. While in some extreme cases, surgery is needed to correct TMD, there are simpler solutions if you don’t wait too long. Eating softer foods, applying a cold press then warm heat and doing relaxation exercises can all help relieve pain associated with TMD.
One of the best ways to find relief is to start wearing a nighttime mouth guard, such as GrindReliefN, so that you can prevent teeth grinding while you sleep. If the pain persists, visit your dentist to discuss more serious treatment options.