Your Grande Prairie dentist offers services to help relieve discomfort and pain in your jaw and supporting muscles, often caused by TMJ disorder.
What is TMJ disorder?
The temporomandibular joint is commonly referred to as “TMJ.” These are the two joints located in the front of each ear and that connect to the jawbone. They are responsible for all the movements needed in biting, chewing, swallowing food, speaking and making facial expressions.
Very often, people suffer from a set of conditions that cause discomfort and pain in the area of the jaw joint, jaw and associated muscles.
These issues have become known as “TMJ” because they directly affect the joint. Everyday activities, like eating, speaking, or even yawning, can be excruciating.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Jaw pain and inability to open mouth comfortably
- Clicking or popping sound in the jaw joints
- Locking of the jaw when attempting to open the mouth
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- A bite that feels uncomfortable or off
- Numbness or tingling in hands
- Unexplained tooth pain
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Causes of TMJ
The most common cause of TMJ is clenching and grinding of the teeth during sleep (bruxism). Other contributing factors are injuries to the jaw, certain forms of arthritis, dental procedures, genetics, hormones, low-level infections and auto-immune diseases.
How is TMJ treated?
The first step in dealing with TMJ is having it properly diagnosed. There is no cure all solution; however once we discover the issue we can create a plan to help treat you.
In some cases, appropriate dental work or orthodontics will help. For example, correcting your bite or using a specialized night guard designed specifically for your mouth, may alleviate some of the stress and pressure on your teeth. Additional assistance from wellness practitioners like acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths, nutritionists and sleep doctors may also help in the healing process.