It’s not as easily-recognizable as cavities, or as particularly-focused as periodontal disease, but temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder, or TMD) is a more common condition than many people realize. Your jaw’s joints are combination sliding-and-hinge joints that allow your lower jaw, or mandible, to move in a variety of directions. When they’re misaligned, inflamed, or otherwise afflicted, you may have trouble opening and closing your mouth, and the discomfort can spread throughout your mouth, head, face, neck, and back.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Your TMJ’s can suffer damage, become inflamed, or be displaced for a number of reasons, usually involving an imbalance in your jaw, teeth, or bite. When your jaw has to overcompensate for such an imbalance, or if the joints and muscles are placed under extreme pressure (like from constantly grinding your teeth), you’re more likely to develop TMJ disorder as a result of the stress.
Recognizing the Signs of TMJ Disorder
The nerves that control your jaw’s movement and sensations are called trigeminal nerves, and are also the reasons behind the diverse range of TMJ disorder’s symptoms. When the nerves are disturbed, they can lead to a host of aches, pains, and difficulties, such as;
- Sore, painful jaw muscles
- Clicking, popping jaw joints
- Difficulty opening and closing your jaw
- Chronic, severe headaches and migraines
- Tinnitus (ringing and pain in the ears)
Treating TMJ Disorder
Though you may have trouble detecting TMJ disorder because of the various symptoms, treating the disorder once it’s been detected is often simpler than many patients realize. TMJs can become damaged or misaligned from a variety of factors, such as an imbalanced bite caused by crooked or missing teeth. Depending on the underlying cause, TMJ disorder treatment can be as varied as its symptoms, and may include;
- Orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth
- Stress-relief techniques and activities to relieve stress and anxiety
- Dental implants or other prosthetics to replace lost teeth
- Oral surgery to correct an abnormal jawbone structure
ABOUT YOUR FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, TMJ EXPERTS:
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights, MI.