TMJ: Its Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

What are the Symptoms of TMJ?

It is estimated that at some point in their lives, most people will suffer from symptoms of temporal mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). TMJ is a condition in which the jaw joint causes pain to the sufferer. Symptoms can include popping and grinding, earaches, toothaches, dizziness, tinnitus, headaches or migraines and pain in the neck and shoulders. Some symptoms may negatively affect the person’s use of their jaw such as limited range of motion, the jaw locking in place, difficulty eating and the teeth not fitting together properly.

What are TMJ’s Causes?

Disease

Arthritis is known to contribute to the condition, as well as chronic inflammatory disorders.

Injury

Many people with TMJ have received some kind of damage to the jaw like a blow, breakage or dislocation. Some people have it after medical or dental procedures which kept their jaw wide open for an extended time like wisdom teeth removal, work on molars or tonsillectomy.

Emotional and Habitual

Teeth grinding (bruxism), chewing on pens or pencils and clenching the jaw cause inflammation and overuse. Chronic and unaddressed emotional upset is also related to TMJ, because tension settles in the muscles and joints of the upper portions of the body, particularly the jaw.

Aging

The elderly are prone to TMJ because as the body ages, the joints become weaker and less able to repair and lubricate themselves. This leaves them vulnerable to irritation and injury.

What are the Treatments for TMJ?

Anti-inflammatories

Cayenne pepper, fresh ginger root, omega-3, fish oil and vitamin C are all excellent at reducing inflammation and pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids probably shouldn’t be your first choice, but they will help with more severe inflammation.

Pain Drugs

If the pain is bad enough, your doctor may prescribe you some muscle relaxers or opioid pain killers. Beware that after using them for a while, they lose effectiveness because you gain a tolerance to them.

Hot and Cold

Hot and cold compresses have the ability to ease pain and relax muscles.

Surgery

This is saved for the most severe cases because it is no only very invasive, but has a rather poor success rate.

Posted in: Apex Dental, Cosmetic Dentistry, TMJ