When you yawn, does your jaw hurt?
Do you occasionally hear cracking or popping coming from your jaw?
Are you uncomfortable when you chew?
These could all be signs of TMJ — a non-life threatening but potentially uncomfortable disorder affecting the joint located in the front of your ear. Let’s look more closely at TMJ to see if you might be suffering from this disorder, and what you can do to feel better fast.
Las Vegas Dentist – TMJ Treatment
TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, which is the muscle connecting your skull and jawbone. The joint is very important to opening and closing your mouth, so when it’s not working properly, eating, swallowing, and talking can grow very uncomfortable. The joint itself is interconnected with muscles and ligaments along the lower jawline.
When that joint gets out of alignment, pain can occur. The American Dental Association (ADA) says 15% of Americans suffer from this disorder.
Some of the causes of TMJ include:
- Stress, that causes jaw clenching and teeth grinding, especially at night when you’re asleep.
- Injury including dislocation.
- Alignment problems with the teeth or jaw.
Our team sees TMJ patients frequently and we’ve developed a 10-system checklist that will help you determine if you’re a candidate for a TMJ diagnosis. Are you currently experiencing any of these symptoms?
- Jaw pain when chewing or talking.
- Jaw stiffness or an uncomfortable “out of place” feeling when moving your mouth.
- Cracking, popping, or other noises coming from your jaw.
- Radiating face pain into your neck or head.
- Visible muscle spasms in the joint.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Malocclusion, when the upper teeth don’t meet the lower teeth properly.
- Swelling around the jaw.
- Eye pain.
- Neck and shoulder discomfort.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, the good news is you don’t have to suffer. Your Las Vegas dentist, Dr. Hadley and his team are very experienced in treating TMJ.
Call Your Las Vegas Dentist for TMJ Relief
The first step in diagnosing TMJ is to call Smiles by Dr. Hadley. When you visit, we’ll carefully examine your teeth and gums, and possibly take x-rays, to confirm the TMJ diagnosis.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) suggests the following non-invasive techniques for those suffering from TMJ:
- Try eating soft foods to see if the pain lessens.
- Avoid biting your nails or chewing gum.
- Heat packs for pain or ice packs to lessen swelling.
- Trying relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.
Next, we can prescribe a variety of treatments to lessen the effects of TMJ:
- Jaw muscle exercises to strengthen the joint.
- Muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, or analgesics, are all medications we can prescribe.
- A night guard, which will keep you from grinding your teeth when you sleep.
- Fixing an uneven bite through the reshaping of some of your teeth.
If you suffer from dental pain consult your Las Vegas dentist, Dr. Hadley. We have a team standing by to help you with your cosmetic and general dentistry needs. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.