Have you ever heard someone say something along the lines of, “so and so is becoming a pain in the neck!” It used to be a lighthearted way to express when something was becoming annoying. Now, you can relate all too well. Your jaw pain is literally becoming a pain in your neck!
If you know what we’re talking about, this post is for you. If you have clicking, sticking, aching jaws, you need to know that you don’t have to suffer any longer. Your dentist is here to help you get to the bottom of your head, neck, and jaw pain and find a solution.
What Is TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder is when a patient is experiencing problems with the temporomandibular joints (the hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull). This can cause difficulty chewing and speaking. Patients may experience a popping, clicking, shooting dental pain, or the jaw becoming stuck in an open or closed position. It can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.
What are the common symptoms of TMJ disorder?
Are you still second guessing if this is the real problem that you’re facing? Here are the most common symptoms for you to keep an eye out on:
- Pain, tenderness, aching, or fatigue in your jaw.
- Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders.
- Soreness in your ears.
- Discomfort when chewing, speaking or opening your mouth wide.
- The jaw becomes stuck in an open or closed-mouth position.
- Clicking, popping, grating noises that come from your jaw.
- Tiredness in your facial muscles.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Painful changes in your bite.
- Swelling on either side of your face.
What can cause TMJ disorder?
Most of the symptoms of TMJ disorder seem like they have nothing to do with your dental health, which makes it harder for many patients to diagnose it. That’s why it’s important to seek help from a professional, like your dentist. These could actually be the causes of your TMJ disorder:
- Anxiety and stress.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth, even while asleep.
- Whiplash (usually from a car accident).
- Trauma or injury to your jaw.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
What are the best ways to treat your TMJ disorder?
Your dentist is the best person to reach out to when it comes to neck, jaw, or mouth pain. They can offer easy ways to help improve the conditions of your disorder and correct it.
- Customized bite appliances to prevent your teeth from grinding.
- Occlusal adjustment procedures.
- Physical therapy to correct TMJ problems.
- Referral for anxiety treatment and stress management techniques.
One of the biggest factors that cause TMJ disorder for adults is stress. Try to decrease your stress levels by completing exercise every day or meditating. If your anxiety persists, it’s okay to seek additional assistance from a professional.
Meet Your Doctor
Dr. Gary Chaffee has been practicing dentistry since 1975. His philosophy is that everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of ideal dental care. That means relieving jaw pain as soon as you begin to experience it! If you would like to speak to Dr. Chaffee, feel free to call our friendly office.