Temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ or TMD are prevalent and can disrupt your life because of pain and discomfort that can affect areas of your body other than your mouth. The mandible or jawbone connects your mandible to your skull and when there is something that causes it to dislocate you can feel moderate to sometimes excruciating pain.
What Causes TMJ/TMD?
It is not easy to diagnose TMJ/TMD because in many cases, the cause of the discomfort is an underlying condition. The only thing we know with 100 percent certainty is that for some reason, the joints that allow you to move your jaw side to side and open and close your mouth become painful.
In most cases, it is a sudden occurrence that seemingly happens out of the blue, but there is always a reason for it.
Signs of TMJ/TMD
There are many signs of TMJ/TMD, but some of the most common ones reported by patients who suffer from this condition are:
When the jaw is misaligned, it can trigger pain to move down to other parts of your body, so it’s essential to let us know if you feel any discomfort in your mandible.
Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ/TMD
When you come in for a TMJ/TMD, we will begin by asking you some basic questions about your symptoms. Then our dentist will proceed to do a physical and visual examination by asking you to open and close your mouth several times. He or she will observe how the joint is working and place their fingers close to your ears to feel the movement.
Our dentist will also observe your jaw’s range of motion and ask if you feel any pain when opening your mouth wide. We may also take x-rays to see what’s going on with your jaw and even a CT scan or MRI, depending on the symptoms.
TMJ/TMD is one of the hardest conditions to diagnose because in many cases it is caused by underlying conditions such as stress or anxiety. The cause for it can also be something as simple as chewing gum too often, which has been linked to TMJ/TMD by scientific research.
As far as treating the condition, it is essential to know that in most cases the symptoms of TMJ/TMD may disappear on their own just as when they first started. If the cause is too much chewing, a time of rest with a soft diet can do the trick and place the jaw in the correct alignment again.
Using things like a mouthguard at night to relax the jaw is also helpful and can put the mandible in the correct alignment. However, if the symptoms persist, more testing may be necessary to get to the cause of your discomfort. Surgery is a last resort measure.
If you want more information on TMJ/TMD please call Thiells Dentist - Michael Bleyzer, DDS at (845) 429-8060 as soon as possible.
Michael Bleyzer, DDS
14 Thiells Mt. Ivy Road
Pomona, NY 10970-3038
Right off of Exit 13 Palisades Parkway
Additional hours may be available by appointment
Serving entire Rockland County New York: Pomona, Suffern, Valley Cottage, New City, Congers, North Rockland Towns of Thiells, Stony Point, Garnerville, Haverstraw and West Haverstraw, and Tomkins Cove.