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Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ therapy Battle Creek MIThe temporomandibular joint (TMJ), more commonly known as the jaw, has a number of bones, tendons, muscles and other structures that must work in concert to facilitate all of the jaw’s various movements. When some part of the jaw’s structure is out of whack, a painful TMJ disorder can develop.

While jaw discomfort tends to be the most noteworthy signal of a TMJ disorder, other symptoms can include the following:

  • Headaches
  • “Locking” of the jaw/difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Popping, grating or clicking noises from the jaw
  • Noticeable change in the bite
  • Muscle stiffness

In other cases of TMJ disorders, the patient may have no symptoms at all, but dentists can pick up on signals like wear and tear on the teeth during an examination.

TMJ disorders can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life, compromise the ability to chew and speak properly and cause unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth, but fortunately patients can get relief from these symptoms with effective TMJ therapy

After identifying the specific problem, your dentist can recommend the treatment option that is likely to be most effective for you.

In order to recommend the appropriate treatment, your dentist will first need to determine what is causing your symptoms. Any of the jaw’s many components could be at fault, as can some external factors such as stress and anxiety.

After identifying the specific problem, your dentist can recommend the treatment option that is likely to be most effective for you.

The initial approaches to TMJ therapy are generally non-surgical. If stress appears to be the primary culprit, stress management or relaxation techniques can reduce symptoms. Muscular issues may be addressed through massage and physical therapy or jaw exercises.

The bite may also be stabilized using an appliance to reduce inflammation in the tissues surrounding the jaw. This strategy can also help to decrease pain.

If you have been experiencing symptoms that could indicate a TMJ disorder, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Morris to determine your diagnosis and learn about your treatment options.

TMJ Disorder: Will it get worse with stress?

TMJ therapy Battle Creek MIMany people initially visit a dentist seeking relief from discomfort related to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. There are numerous effective treatments for this condition, ranging from behavioral management to surgical procedures to correct problems with the bite.

In order to provide you the most effective TMJ therapy, the dentist will first need to figure out what factors are causing the issue.

A number of characteristics can contribute to TMJ disorder, and a stressful lifestyle is definitely one of them. Stress can lead you to clench your jaw or grind your teeth, and you may not even realize it. Some people only grind their teeth during sleep and are unaware that it’s happening. 

A number of characteristics can contribute to TMJ disorder, and a stressful lifestyle is definitely one of them.

You’ll feel the effects of stress on your jaw, though. The excess forces that the jaw must absorb will be manifested in jaw or facial pain.

If stress is the main culprit for your TMJ disorder, your symptoms may diminish if you are able to enact effective stress management techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Your dentist can make recommendations of techniques that may be effective in your case.

Other methods of self-care, such as massaging the jaw or applying ice or heat, may also help to relieve discomfort in the jaw.

TMJ disorder that results from bruxism, or teeth grinding, may respond to a treatment for that condition. A custom-designed mouthguard can prevent the teeth from coming together and subjecting the jaw to excessive strain.

Stress is just one of many potential causes of TMJ disorder, though. When the jaws do not fit together properly, TMJ disorders can also develop. The jaw is a complex joint made of multiple components, and if any one of them does not work properly, the patient can have problems with TMJ.

Regardless of the cause of your TMJ disorder, a dentist can recommend effective therapy. Schedule a consultation with our office to get started down the path to relief from TMJ discomfort.