Do you often wake up with a sore jaw? Do you have difficulty or discomfort when chewing? You may suffer from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders may experience a host of symptoms, including the lack of ability to move the jaw. The earliest symptoms of TMJ may appear in the jaw joints themselves, but symptoms may spread to other parts of the face and nearby areas as the condition worsens.
Patients suffering from TMJ disorders can visit our Houston TMJ treatment expert for diagnosis and proper care. Temporomandibular joint disorders may arise for a variety of reasons and affect many aspects of life by making mouth movements painful. With timely treatment, patients can restore their quality of life and prevent long-term complications of this painful and often misunderstood disorder.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
TMJ disorders can cause different symptoms for different patients, but many TMJ sufferers experience pain, clicking and grinding feelings when they open or close the jaw. Pain may worsen when patients speak or chew, resulting in hardship during normal activities. Discomfort most often occurs where the jaw connects to the skull, but patients may also have pain in the ear or on the face. Without treatment from our expert in TMJ treatment in Houston, patients may experience along-term worsening of symptoms.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ disorders can arise from inside or outside joints. In a majority of cases, the condition develops after repeated jaw joint strain associated with teeth grinding. However, such strain can also arise from uneven force placed on the jaw joints by orthodontic problems or excessive intake of hard or chewy foods. In other cases, systemic arthritis includes the jaw joints in the areas it affects.
Treatments for TMJ Disorders
We may recommend different TMJ disorder treatments at our Houston dental office, depending on the stage of this condition. Early on, using oral appliances to restore normal jaw positioning, eliminate jaw strain, and prevent damage from teeth grinding may be recommended. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to reduce swelling and promote healing. Muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or sedatives may be used to reduce teeth grinding. Surgery can be used to resolve persistent cases if requested by the patient.
Left untreated, TMJ can reduce your quality of life and even affect your overall health by limiting dietary choices and social interaction. If you suffer from jaw discomfort due to TMJ, contact our dentists in Houston to find out more about this condition and receive an exam to find out about options for treatment. Call us at 713-497-1499 to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.