Have you seen that your dentist treats TMJ disorder? You may ask yourself what TMJ stands for, what are the symptoms of TMJ disorder, what causes it, and what are some possible treatments for it. Here is a brief overview of TMJ disorder that may answer some of your questions.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This is a system of ligaments, discs, sockets, and muscles on either side of your head that opens, closes, and rotates your jaw. TMJ disorder is when this system doesn’t work properly, such as the jaw popping out of the socket when you open your mouth wide.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Do you suffer from TMJ disorder? Here are some of the symptoms:
• Your jaw makes clicking/popping sounds when you open and close it.
• Difficulty moving the jaw when closing or opening your mouth.
• Jaw is tender or sore. It is painful to eat hard or crunchy foods.
Another note about TMJ disorder: it is more common in women.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
If you experience the symptoms above, you may be asking yourself how you got this disorder. Though there isn’t a lot known about TMJ disorder, there are several possible causes. It can be caused by arthritis, the result of an injury, a problem from an uneven bite, or even be due to clenching you teeth from stress or in your sleep.
Treatments for TMJ Disorder
If you think you have TMJ disorder, then consult your dentist. They know about this condition and will recommend the solution that works best for you. Below are some of the treatments a dentist may recommend:
• Exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles
• Relaxation techniques to control jaw tension
• Eating softer foods
• Heating or cooling packs
• Night guard, bite plate, or stabilization splints
• Avoiding extreme jaw motions such as gum chewing
• Reshaping teeth to fix a bite alignment
In some cases, orthodontia or medication may be recommended. Your dentist will help you find the best solution for you to treat TMJ disorder.