Do you suffer frequent headaches, dizziness, or facial pain? While you might not associate these symptoms with a dental problem, they are among the many potential signs of TMJ disorder. Here at Scott and Derry Dental Care in Milton, ON we offer a wide variety of treatment options.
Signs of TMJ disorder
Some patients report that they have seen one or more doctors for their symptoms, to no avail. TMJ disorders may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, largely because the symptoms can vary widely from one patient to the next. If afflicted, you may experience one or more of the following:
- Migraines and migraine-like headaches
- Neck, shoulder, or upper back pain
- Tinnitus or other hearing problems
- Pain when chewing
- Jaws making a clicking or popping sound
- Feeling of stiffness or grinding sensation in the joint when you move your jaw
- Limited movement or “locked” jaw
- Dizziness and other symptoms
What causes TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder, also called TMJ dysfunction, essentially means there is something wrong with the jaw. It is not a specific disease or type of injury, but rather an umbrella term referring to a wide variety of potential dysfunctions.
The underlying cause of your pain may be one or more of the following:
- Deformities or birth defects that prevented the jaw from developing properly
- Injury to the bone, muscle, or directly to the joint
- Complications or surgical procedures in the area
- Degenerative or chronic inflammatory joint conditions, such as arthritis
- Bruxism, which means clenching or grinding of teeth
- Tooth damage or misalignment, leading to imbalanced bite force
- Less commonly, TMJ disorder may be caused by cysts, cancers, or other conditions affecting the jaw area
TMJ disorder prevention and treatment
You may be able to reduce your risk of TMJ disorders by avoiding excess strain on the jaw, maintaining good dental health, and correcting any existing orthodontic problems. However, it is most often not preventable.
The best treatment for TMJ disorders varies widely from one patient to the next, due to the variety of potential causes and symptoms. After an examination and an in-depth discussion of your symptoms, we will devise a customized plan to address the issue. A few of the many potential treatment options include:
- Dental treatment or appliance to adjust the bite
- Massage, physical therapy, or other relaxation techniques
- Lifestyle changes such as eating soft foods
- Anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications