Maybe you wake up with a sore jaw, or you have persistent headaches throughout the day that just won’t let you focus. You may be suffering from a syndrome called Temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJ for short. Undiagnosed and untreated, this can be a syndrome that is incredibly hard to deal with. To begin with, it won’t seem so necessary to treat as the symptoms may only be evident sometimes, or just on occasion. As this syndrome progresses, however, discomfort is experienced on a more regular basis. Our aim at Tamborello Dentistry is to catch these types of things in their tracks before they can lead to life-altering consequences.
Stress and bone abnormalities seem to be the main culprits when it comes to the reasoning behind TMJ. Of course, as with most things, TMJ can be caused by a combination of onset factors. These causes, along with overuse of the jaw can lead to TMJ.
You may not even know you do it, but the grinding or clenching of teeth at night, while you sleep, is a heavy factor into why the symptoms of TMJ are felt. By doing this, you overuse the muscles of the face and jaw. Obviously, by overuse, the muscles become sore, overworked, and therefore, give out and are unusable.
First, a night guard is implemented into the patient’s everyday routine. This noninvasive approach allows the patient’s teeth to have no contact during the night. This used on a nightly basis, especially during times of high stress will prove to be rather effective. In the case, though, that your TMJ is more on the severe side, another measure may have to be taken. Resting the jaw is key, not chewing heavily, while at the same time rotating a program of cold and hot compresses to reduce swelling.
If you would like to learn more about TMJ, don’t hesitate to give us a call!