20 May Experiencing Jaw Pain: Could it be TMJ?
Significant jaw pain can indicate a disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Other symptoms of TMJ disorders include popping sounds during chewing, locking of the jaw and other facial and even ear pain. If you have any of these symptoms, you should be evaluated for a TMJ disorder.
A TMJ disorder develops when one of the numerous structures in the jaw is not working in concert with the other parts.
Patients who are suffering from one of these disorders can get relief from TMJ treatment, which can take on a variety of forms.
Depending on the cause of your specific case of TMJ disorder, the TMJ treatment could range from stress reduction techniques to over-the-counter painkillers to wearing a bite splint or even surgery, although the latter is somewhat rare and only indicated when more conservative measures have proven to be ineffective. [pullquote]Getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your TMJ problem is essential to getting effective TMJ treatment.[/pullquote]
Patients with TMJ disorders often find it beneficial to work with an oral surgeon, a specialty with extensive expertise in the multiple structures that comprise the jaw.
Getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your TMJ problem is essential to getting effective TMJ treatment. The oral surgeon will begin by thoroughly examining your jaw, both through a visual inspection as well as by taking x-rays to get a good look at the various components of the jaw.
If the muscles appear to be creating the TMJ disorder, the oral surgeon may recommend physical therapy to stretch the muscles or massage to eliminate inflammation. Similarly, a bite splint can position the jaw in a way that allows the jaw muscles to relax.
TMJ disorder caused by defects in the joint itself, rather than the muscles, may require a surgical procedure if the patient’s symptoms do not ease up with other treatments. However, it is rare for surgery to be the first course of action, except in particularly severe cases.
Patients who are experiencing jaw pain should consult with one of our skilled oral surgeons at Great River Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to see if a TMJ disorder is causing their symptoms. Effective TMJ treatment is available, and it often does not require an invasive treatment. Call today to schedule your visit.