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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.