Do you experience frequent or chronic pain in your jaw? Do you experience headaches, or feel that your jaw “pops” or moves out of place? If so, then you may have a common condition that can be diagnosed and treated by a dentist— temporomandibular joint dysfunction (often referred to as TMD or TMJ).
What causes TMJ disorder?
The temporomandibular joints are located directly in front of each ear. These joints allow your jaws to open and close normally. When the TMJ joint or the muscles around it start to give you problems, TMJ disorder may be to blame.
What signs or symptoms should I look for?
While no list will include all possible symptoms associated with TMJ, here are a few of the most common ones that are reported:
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Pain in the jaw or around the ear
- Sore throat
- Clicking or popping sound in the jaw area
- Frequent headaches or earaches on one side
- Dull aching pain in the face
- Numbness or tingling in the face/neck region
- Jaw tenderness
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
Note: In addition to TMJ, some of these symptoms could be caused by more serious conditions. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important that you see a medical professional as soon as possible.
What treatments are available?
If you are experiencing problems that may be related to TMJ, a dentist can conduct a variety of tests to check for possible TMJ disorder. The exam will likely include:
- Examining your bite alignment
- Feeling your jaw area for points of pain or tenderness
- Watching and listening to your jaw opening and closing
- Examining your teeth for evidence of bruxism (teeth grinding)
- And more.
What should you do now?
TMJ is one of many dental problems that we help patients with at Babylon Dental Care. Whether you need a routine cleaning, cosmetic dentistry, or some form of restorative dentistry, we are here to help.
You don’t have to suffer from dental problems. If you live in West Babylon, Patchogue or anywhere on the South Shore of Long Island, and are searching for a new dentist to help with the problems you’re experiencing, please contact our office nearest you today (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay, or Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza).