If you have ever felt mysterious jaw pain or have heard your jaw click, then you may be a victim of TMJ. TMJ, otherwise known as the temporomandibular joint, is a disorder of the jaw that can cause a lot of jaw pain and discomfort. Every individual’s situation is different. Some people experience frequent pain, while others may only have occasional discomfort. The strangest thing about TMJ is that you may have it and have no idea that the disorder is the root of your problems. This scenario is especially common for people who do not experience the pain often or do not hear the jaw clicking. The only way to know for sure what is going on with your jaw joints is to see a dentist.
At Single Visit Dentistry in Pompano Beach, Florida, we take x-rays to confirm what is going on with your jaw. That way, we can have all the information we need to get you a treatment plan that works. If you are suspicious that you may be affected by TMJ, keep reading to get all the facts.
What Causes TMJ?
First, to understand what causes TMJ, it’s vital to have some background information about the temporomandibular joint itself. The way the joint operates is by sliding and hinging. The bones in your jaw are surrounded by cartilage that protects the bones and ensures that everything moves smoothly. These bones are also separated by a disc that absorbs any shock or movement. When all of these pieces work together, the joint can move with no pain and no issues. However, if any of these pieces are damaged, you can be at risk of TMJ. Some examples include the cartilage damaged by arthritis, the joint damaged because of impact or injury, and the disc out of alignment. Sometimes those who grind their teeth can also fall victim to the disorder, although this is not always the case. These issues are some of the usual reasons people experience TMJ; nonetheless, there are some rare cases where everything looks fine, but someone still suffers.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ affects everyone differently. You may hear a clicking sound, a commonplace sign of TMJ, but have no pain. Or, you may have no clicking sounds but a lot of pain when you move their jaw. It’s vital to know as many symptoms as possible so you can best determine what is going on and if a dentist visit needs to happen. Some of the usual signs of the disorder are a clicking sound, pain around your ear, facial pain, having a hard time chewing or painful chewing, tenderness around the jaw area, locking of the jaw, and pain in your temporomandibular joints.
When Should You See a Dentist?
As mentioned above, TMJ is different for everyone. Some people may not need to seek medical treatment for the disorder. But, it never hurts to get a professional opinion. If you have been experiencing tenderness and jaw pain for a while now, it may benefit you to see a dentist. Sometimes jaw pain comes from clenching during a rough night of sleep, but this pain should go away. The key is if it is persistent. The longer it lasts, the more likely that something is wrong. We recommend coming in for an appointment as soon as possible if your jaw randomly locks. Not that jaw locking can cause any severe problems, but it does make ordinary tasks very difficult and can cause more pain. The sooner you come in, the sooner you can find relief.
Contact Single Visit Dentistry Today!
Pain associated with the jaw is one of the most underrated forms of pain. Not only does it hurt, but it makes tasks such as eating, speaking, and drinking difficult. If you have been struggling with persistent pain in the jaw and joint area, then you may be a victim of TMJ. Although other disorders and jaw issues could be the cause of your pain, the only way to know what is going on is to see a medical professional. To get an evaluation as soon as possible, reach out to Single Visit Dentistry at (954) 870-4781.