The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. It is the joint just in front of the ear. When it is damaged, a disorder may result called TMJ syndrome. Here are the facts about this disorder.
What causes TMJ syndrome?
The most common culprits are jaw or teeth injury, jaw or teeth misalignment, teeth grinding or clenching, stress, poor posture, arthritis, wearing orthodontic braces, or gum chewing.
What are the signs of a problem?
Typical signs that a patient may or may not experience include jaw pain, jaw popping or clicking, difficulty chewing, earache, ringing in the ears, headache, swelling, locking of the jaw joint, or stiff jaw muscles. Keep in mind that pain is not always specific to the joint itself, but may involve the face, eyes, neck, ears, or forehead.
How is TMJ syndrome diagnosed?
Start with a visit to your general practitioner. A physical examination will be performed plus a medical history to help identify potential causes of the problem. There is not a specific test for TMJ syndrome, but an MRI of the joint may be ordered to aid in diagnosis or rule out other issues. You’ll be referred to a specialist if required.
How is TMJ syndrome treated?
Home remedies are often effective, such as holding ice packs to the joint, massage, jaw stretches, ibuprofen, relaxation techniques, eating soft foods, and no longer chewing gum. If home care doesn’t relieve the symptoms, medical treatment like mouth guards, physical therapy, prescription medication, Botox injections, and surgery in severe cases may be advised.
Visit Dr. Winchester today in Morehead City, NC for TMJ treatment.