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Health

TMJ Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

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Suppose you have trouble moving your jaws due to jaw pain and stiffness; you might be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder. You may need a thorough diagnosis though, to confirm your condition. Luckily specialists in TMJ in Leander at Pendleton Orthodontics offer extensive diagnosis and treatment plans to restore your health. This article will provide more details about TMJ disorder and treatments.

What are TMJ disorders?

These are problems that interfere with the proper functioning of your jaw joints, responsible for biting, yawning, speaking, or jaw clenching. The temporomandibular joints are on each side of your face. They join the lower jaw to the upper jaw.

There are no clear causes of temporomandibular joint disorders. However, some medical conditions such as arthritis may contribute to the problem. Your jaw structure and teeth grinding may be the cause of the problem too.

When you visit Pendleton Orthodontics due to TMJ, the team takes their time to examine your condition. They perform a thorough examination and monitor your jaw movements. They also take digital X-rays or CT scans to have a clear view of the joint while identifying the signs of damage to the cartilage, disc, or soft tissue.

What signs show you have a TMJ disorder?

The disease may come and go or develop gradually, becoming worse with time. The joint damage in your face may cause the following symptoms:

·         Jaw locking

·         Pain near your ears or temples

·         Tooth alignment changes

·         Neck or shoulder pain

·         Jaw stiffness

·         A clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your mouth

·         A grating sensation when opening or closing your mouth

·         Headache

·         Pain or difficulty chewing

·         Jaw tenderness

In the less severe cases of TMJ disorder, you might find relief with home remedies, or the problem might go away on its own. However, when your pain does not disappear within a few days, it’s time to visit Pendleton Orthodontics.

What are the available treatment options for TMJ disorders?

A limited jaw movement and pain may prevent you from performing your daily functions and life activities. Dr. Pendleton offers various techniques to relieve jaw pain, among other symptoms related to TMJ disorders.

Your treatment plan may include the following:

·         Physical therapy

·         Joint injections

·         Oral splints

·         Medication management

·         Education on harmful habits such as clenching

Your provider usually chooses conservative treatments first before moving to surgical options. However, when you do not find relief from TMJ disorders using nonsurgical methods, Dr. Pendleton performs jaw surgery to correct the underlying problem.

When the damage is severe, the surgery may focus on removing or replacing the affected part. However, this treatment comes as the last option.

You can prevent TMJ disorder by avoiding excessive use of your jaw muscles, avoiding yawning with your mouth wide open, and practicing TMJ exercises to strengthen your jaw joints.

TMJ disorder is the condition that occurs when one or both of your jaw joints has been damaged. It causes persistent jaw pain, facial pain, pain while chewing, pain around your ears, jaw stiffness, among other uncomfortable symptoms. Dr. Pendleton examines your condition and designs a customized treatment plan. Call Pendleton Orthodontics today for a consultation.