Is TMJ Treatable?

Dentist's hand pointing to the temporomandibular joint on a skull

Everyone has two TMJ (temporomandibular) joints, one on either side of their jaw. These joints connect your jaw to your skull. They let you open and close your mouth, chew comfortably, smile, and talk. However, problems with these joints can develop into a TMJ disorder. Is TMJ treatable? It is and the treatment is usually fairly simple. What are some examples? And how do you know if you have TMJ?

Signs You Have TMJ

With TMJ disorders, symptoms such as tenderness or pain in the jaw and aching around the ears are common. You might also hear a grinding or popping noise when you open and close your mouth. Other signs include tooth pain, headaches, and dizziness.

What Causes TMJ?

Causes of TMJ can vary, and oftentimes, there are several factors working together to cause the problem. It could be arthritis, which causes inflammation in the joints. If you experience a facial injury, it can misalign your jaw and develop into TMJ. Clear aligners that don’t fit well can also cause misalignment.

Some people grind their teeth when stressed out. If the grinding is severe and persistent enough, TMJ can develop. Even if it isn’t the cause, grinding can worsen the pain and other symptoms. Your genetic background can also play a role in whether you develop TMJ.

Is TMJ Treatable?

There are a handful of ways to treat TMJ. For jaw pain, try heat compresses, ice packs, and over-the-counter pain medications. You should also avoid chewing gum. If stress is making the TMJ symptoms worse, try to reduce your stress and be aware of teeth grinding. Many people clench their jaws at night when they aren’t even aware of it, so a nightguard can help.

If you are dealing with TMJ symptoms, please contact Leesburg Family Dental today and talk to one of the doctors at our Leesburg office. We can recommend the best line of treatment for your specific needs!

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