Pain and discomfort in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) can happen to anyone and at any time. Symptoms can either arise after a traumatic event to the jaws or its joints such as falling or a sports injury, or it can be due to long-standing issues such as clenching and grinding of the teeth.
TMJ dysfunction has a variety of causes and symptoms. Often, a TMJ problem creates achy, sore, and painful jaws. However, issues with the TMJ and its surrounding structures can also be masked as headaches, sinus pain, sensitivity of back teeth, and even earaches. This is because the ligaments, nerves, and muscles around the TMJ are all interconnected.
In some cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorders may go away without treatment. This may be because the TMJ and its surrounding structures have healed. But more commonly, a chronic TMJ issue that suddenly goes away indicates your body has adapted to the joint dysfunction by hardening of associated tissues.
There can be many causes of TMJ pain. Your risk of developing this disorder rises if you have a lot of stress or are extremely sensitive to pain. The most common causes of TMJ and TMD include:
Treatment for TMJ pain is typically only recommended for people whose symptoms affect their daily lives. If you are having difficulty opening your mouth, have jaw pain when closing or opening your mouth, have chronic headaches, or any of the other symptoms we’ve mentioned, we may be able to help.
At Sloan Creek Dental, we offer a comprehensive TMJ evaluation to determine the root cause of the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. Based on what we find during the exam, we will recommend one or more treatment options for the management of your pain. The options may include oral splints, physical therapy, medications, and others. Keep reading to find out more about each of these options.