Do you suffer from stiffness and pain in the sides of your jaw? Does your jaw pop when you open your mouth to eat, talk, or yawn? This common issue is caused by inflammation in the temporomandibular joint, which is a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. The stiffness and inflammation are caused by a wide range of reasons, including whiplash, head injuries, teeth grinding, and more. In mild cases, your jaw may simply pop or feel a little stiff. In more sever instances, you may suffer pain and headaches or your jaw may become completely locked.
Unfortunately, there's no cure for TMJ issues that works every time for every person. Instead, there are a range of solutions you can try. Some may work and others may not. It depends largely on your specific symptoms and the severity of your issues. Below are a few solutions you can try:
Anti-inflammatories or other drugs. For mild cases, your dentist may simply provide pain relievers or anti-inflammatories. In fact, you may want to start with over-the-counter drugs to see if they have a positive effect. Your dentist may also prescribe muscle relaxers if pain relievers don't work. This could be especially effective if the symptoms are a relatively new, temporary issue and not something you've dealt with your whole life.
Mouth guards. It's possible that your TMJ issues are caused by either your jaw alignment or the grinding of teeth. A mouth guard can be helpful in either of these scenarios. You wear the guard over your teeth, usually while you're sleeping. It helps to reset your jaw back to a proper position and minimize teeth grinding. That could reduce your TMJ pain and stiffness.
Injections. For more serious cases of TMJ, your dentist may try various types of injections. One option is to insert needles into the joint to remove fluid buildup. That could reduce inflammation and stiffness. Another option is the injection of steroids such as botox into the joint. These injections could relieve pain and help loosen the tendons around the joint.
Surgery. Finally, if no other options work or you want a fast solution, you might consider oral surgery. Your dentist could refer you to an oral surgeon who could analyze whether you need open joint surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon resets the joint to a proper position and removes any excess tissue or fluid that could be contributing to inflammation and stiffness. It's an invasive procedure and it could have a lengthy recovery, but it could also be a permanent fix to your TMJ pain.
Ready to solve your TMJ issues? Contact your dentist or set up an appointment today with an oral surgeon.Share
10 October 2018
When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.