TMJ Treatment at Your Downtown Orlando Dentist
To start, what exactly is the TMJ? The acronym stands for Temporomandibular Joint. These are the joints in front of the ears on each side of the face. They connect the lower jawbone to your skull and help in chewing and speaking movements.
TMJ Disorder is a medical condition where a person feels pain and compromised movement in the TMJ and surrounding muscles. It can be caused by trauma, arthritis, an improper bite, or just general wear and tear of the jaws. TMJ Disorder is much more common than people realize, with a percentage of people living with it, not even knowing that they have it. So, let's do a quick check. If you're reading this right now, take a moment to access it. Do you feel pain in your jaws? Do you face some difficulty chewing? If so, then you should read this article.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ Disorder is a dental condition affecting jaw joints, surrounding muscles, and ligaments. The pain resulting from this can often be mild or severe. The teeth, jaw, and surrounding muscles are all pieces of the efficient machine that is the face. They all work together and make sure that the teeth come together simultaneously. When there's a misalignment, the jaw's position is forcibly shifted. This puts intense pressure on the muscles to bring together the teeth. This constant strain can result in the disc shifting that holds the jaw out of position. When this occurs, the jaw bones grind against each other, causing immense pain and damage to the joint.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder is more common in people between the ages of 20 to 40 years and more prominent in women than in men. There's still quite some debate about what exactly causes the condition, but there are a couple of things to watch out for before seeing your dentist.
Some of these are:
- Shoulder or Neck pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Lock jaws, especially when in an open or closed-mouth position
- Tooth pain
- Swelling on the side of your face
- Hearing or "feeling" clicking, popping, or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
Is TMJ Disorder Treatable?
If you're feeling any of the symptoms above, you don't need to fret; TMJ disorder is treatable—as long as you have the right dentist specialist. You're in luck if you stay in the Downtown Orlando area. Fine Dentistry of Downtown Orlando is the perfect choice for you. The team of experienced dentists at Fine Dentistry is available for professional examination and treatment of various oral health issues, including and not limited to TMJ Disorder.
In dealing with TMJ Disorder, the dentist first analyzes your bite to determine the true extent of the condition. From there, an orthotic is custom crafted for you to wear for a few months to help relax your muscles and balance your jaw joint. This will eventually lead to the stabilization of the bite. Once this is achieved, you'll need a team of professional maxillofacial surgeons to permanently correct it.
How To Prevent TMJ Disorder
Though TMJ Disorder is treatable, prevention will always be a lot better and more cost-effective than cure. Here are some recommendations for preventing TMJ Disorder and treating it if you currently have it.
Correct your posture.
It might seem a bit far-fetched that your posture can affect your jaw but sitting in the wrong position for an extended period has been proven to cause pain in the jaw. It is recommended that when sitting, you use a chair with proper back support. It is also vital to remember to take breaks frequently. There are also different exercises you can do that can help to correct your sitting or standing posture.
Try as much as possible to maintain the resting position of your jaw.
Reducing your jaw movements—especially not making any wide or sudden movements can help relax your jaw if you are in pain. Activities such as yawning, singing, or yelling should be reduced to a bare minimum if you're having difficulty with your jaw movements, as these can aggravate your pain.
Stress is one of the causes of TMJ Disorder. Though eliminating stress is impossible, effectively managing it can go a long way to preventing this disorder. Medication is often encouraged to help relieve stress as it can help loosen and relax your jaw. Yoga exercises also go a long way in calming the mind and relaxing the face.
Exercise your jaw.
Exercising your jaw can help to improve the mobility in your joints. Three types of jaw exercises can help you with this. They are:
- stretch exercises
- strengthening exercises
- relaxation exercises
These three exercises help you get your jaw in pristine shape.
Cut back on bad habits.
A few bad habits can increase your chances of having TMJ Disorder. Habits include nail biting, chewing your cheeks and lips, resting your jaw in your hand, teeth clenching, grinding your teeth, and pushing your tongue against your teeth by clenching your jaw muscles. All of these can put stress on the muscles of your jaw. Taking note of these habits and reducing how often you indulge in them can go a long way to preventing you from having TMJ Disorder.
Having jaw pain might seem like a small issue—at least until it's too late. To avoid later regrets, it's always best to avoid activities that stress your jaw and cause it to ache. And if you already have the condition, then it's highly recommended that you visit your dentist and check it out.
If you stay in the Downtown Orlando Area, you should check out Fine Dentistry of Downtown Orlando. Their highly skilled team of dentists and staff is dedicated to providing the best dental care in the state. Therefore, stop putting up with discomfort if you think you could have TMJ Disorder. Make an appointment right away!