I have always been one of those people who loves to get out into the world and talk with other people, but a few years ago, I realized that I had to do something about my smile. My teeth were yellow and unattractive, and it was really discouraging to see how much different my smile was. I knew that I needed to get my teeth fixed, so I started working with a professional dentist to make things right. Within a few short months, my smile was completely transformed, and I knew that I owed it all to my dental professional. Check out this blog for more information about working with a dentist.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a leading cause of jaw pain, neck pain, and headaches, and while anyone can develop this condition, it is more prevalent in women. If you experience pain in your jaw, neck, and head, there is a good chance you might suffer from this condition. Here is an explanation of how dentists diagnose and treat this common condition.
Diagnosis for TMJ
Diagnosing TMJ is typically done by a dentist asking you questions about the pain you are experiencing and by feeling your jaw joints. In fact, you can know if you have this by feeling the joint located in front of your ears. When you feel this joint and open your mouth, you can be fairly certain that you have TMJ if you feel pain on this joint when you open your mouth.
A dentist will also feel these joints and may even want to take x-rays to get more details about your jawbone. Dentists may also refer people to doctors for additional information. A doctor will often suggest an MRI for this purpose, as an MRI can help see the tissue in this area.
Treatment for TMJ
If you are diagnosed with TMJ, there are a lot of great treatment options available, and these methods will help you find relief from the pain and other symptoms you experience from your TMJ. One at-home method you could try involves placing an ice pack on your jaw joints. Ice is great for decreasing inflammation, and this can provide relief for minor cases of TMJ. Dentists also commonly suggest wearing a mouth guard as a form of treatment. A mouth guard primarily helps because it places a gap between a person's upper and lower jaws, and this gap helps the joints relax while a person is sleeping.
Sometimes people will try using medications for relief. This can include taking over-the-counter pain pills, or it could involve getting a prescription for muscle relaxants.
Additionally, some people benefit from going to physical therapy, as this helps strengthen the muscles in the jaw, and there are also times when people will need surgery for treatment. Surgery is typically the last option, though, and most people do not need to go this far to find relief for their TMJ symptoms.
Most people can find a lot of relief from TMJ pain through simple treatment options. If you would like to learn more about TMJ, contact a dental services clinic today.