Written by: on March 9, 2016 @ 5:16 pm

shutterstock_249767716If your jaw has been feeling sore, tired, or uncomfortable lately, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder – or, TMJ disorder. While it may sound scary and has been known to be extremely painful, it’s often temporary and goes away with little to no treatment. However, since the disorder surrounds the relationship between your facial muscles and your temporomandibular joint – which acts as a hinge connecting the jaw structure to the skull – it can recur over time. In severe cases, people have suffered significant damage to their oral health, unfortunately. You should never ignore your symptoms, as diagnosing (and treating) TMJ disorder could save you many headaches in the future.

Understanding Your Symptoms

The most common symptom if you’re suffering from muscular problems around your jaw is pain – specifically when chewing, opening or closing your mouth, and in the area around your jaw joint. However, there are other symptoms you may experience depending on the severity of your situation. Your jaw will likely have limited movement as the muscles become inflamed, causing your jaw to lock in certain positions, make a popping sound, or even result in headaches as referred pain from all of the muscle tension. Many people are unaware that these symptoms are related to TMJ disorder, but you may have ear pain or notice popping in your ears frequently stemming from the issues with your jaw joint.

Diagnosing TMJ Disorder

Unlike other medical conditions, TMJ disorder doesn’t have one specific test to reach a diagnosis. Since the symptoms typically associated with temporomandibular joint disorder aren’t very clear and it doesn’t have one exact cause – reaching a diagnosis can be difficult at times.

Typically, your dentist will begin noting your symptoms and reviewing your family and medical history similar to other appointments. During their visual assessment, they’ll look for things like wear on your teeth, alignment problems, and inflammation around your jaw and face. In some cases, they may recommend a series of images like x-rays to get a better look at the structure and movement of your jaw.

Once your dentist has diagnosed you with TMJ disorder, they’ll likely recommend several different treatments depending on your individual condition. Many times, using home remedies – like over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, etc. – for a short period of time will dissipate your symptoms and the disorder altogether!

Catogories: TMD

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