When Sarah visited our Elmhurst dental office, she was relatively content with her dental health. She brushed and flossed routinely, and she had six consecutive years of cavity free check ups. It was during the course of her latest appointment though that Sarah informed us that her face felt sore and stiff on the right side. Sarah had no idea she was experiencing a very common symptom of TMJ disorder.
We explained to Sarah that TMJ disorder can instigate several painful and inconvenient symptoms. Jaw soreness, jaw locking, earaches, and frequent headaches can all be problematic for patients suffering from TMJ. Unfortunately, if you are suffering from TMJ you may notice a shift in your bite, or perhaps you no longer feel your teeth fit comfortably together.
The Temporomandibular Joint connects the jaw to the lower part of the skull. Therefore, when the joint is swollen or agitated it becomes more difficult to move the jaw. Such diminished mobility and soreness can in turn affect the ears and contribute to tension headaches.
With the correct diagnosis and treatment, TMJ Disorder can be effectively managed. Early recognition of symptoms can improve your chances of successful treatment; your dentist’s goal with treatment is to lessen the pain and restore function to your jaw. Your dentist may suggest using a mouth guard at night to alleviate jaw pain and protect the teeth. More severe cases may require patients to have their teeth realigned to regain prime bite function. Sadly, if left untreated symptoms can worsen over time.
Whatever your individual needs might be, our Elmhurst TMJ dental office is available to you. To learn more about how you can live pain-free, please call us with your questions or schedule a consultation.
Dentist Reviews: TMJ Disorder Is and How it Affects Patients