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Abnormal Jaw Pains (TMJ)
When jaw pain or TMJ pain strikes, it is often difficult to perform basic actions such as chewing and speaking comfortably. Although pain from other areas of your body can be referred to the jaw, this type of pain is usually associated with either your temporomandibular joint or the muscles and tendons that surround it. Since this joint is one of the most complicated ones in your body, it is important to have even the slightest or briefest bit of pain assessed by your orthodontist. In this post, we’ll show what TMJ is and how to sort it. Let’s get cracking.
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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
- TMJ disorder simply involves a malfunction within the joint that may be caused by muscle tension, a structural abnormality, misaligned bite or crooked teeth. If this is the cause of your pain, you may sometimes hear a slight clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth.
- It is also possible for jaw locking into place at times and chewing hard or sticky foods can increase your symptoms. Headaches may accompany the jaw pain in TMJ sufferers. Although the symptoms of TMJ can range from mild to severe, it is important to note that they tend to worsen as a person ages.
- For those whose TMJ is related to misaligned teeth, braces may be recommended to move them into the proper place. You may also be given self-care instructions such as using hot and cool treatment compresses to ease jaw pain and inflammation caused by TMJ.
- Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is another common cause of jaw pain. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of what they are doing in their sleep so you or your child may have no idea that this is causing your pain. If this goes on too long, you can experience long-term damage to your mouth and teeth such as broken or worn down teeth.
- Tooth grinding is a behavior that can increase during times of stress, or it could be your body’s response to accommodate for the discomfort created by misaligned teeth. Your orthodontic team will assess your mouth health to determine if you might be a candidate for treatment such as Invisalign that helps to realign your teeth so that you will be less likely to grind them at night.
- Medical advice diagnosis is but an expert away. You can get all the information on disorders affecting you and the factors which lead to oral conditions.
- People tend to think of arthritis happening in the knees or hands, but it can also occur in the temporomandibular joint. When it does, the teeth can become misaligned due to the swelling. This further increases the severity of the pain.
- Preventing arthritis can be done by making sure that crooked teeth are treated with braces early in life so that behaviors that contribute to wear and tear on the joint are decreased. In severe cases, medications may be prescribed to reduce jaw pain or swelling and slow down the progression of the condition.
- There are times when patients run to their orthodontic office only to discover that their jaw pain is related to stress. This is because habits such as clenching and tooth grinding tend to occur during stressful times in a person’s life. Stress-related jaw pain can often mimic dental problems because it causes shooting pains through the jaw and cheek area.
- Headaches or facial pain may be present, and you may notice that your jaw hurts more with movement. When stress is related to your physical appearance, treatments such as Invisalign can give you more confidence. Alternatively, your orthodontist can show you relaxation exercises for your jaw muscles and body that relieve the tension that contributes to the pain.
- Jaw pain can come on suddenly and strong, or it may gradually appear. Yet, uncovering the underlying cause is essential for helping you get back to enjoying the simple things in life like eating again and easing your jaw muscles’ workload.
At Childers Orthodontics in Benton, Ill., Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers expert treatment for children, teenagers and adults. Our orthodontist is expert in temporomandibular causes and also provides these treatments to repair misaligned teeth:
- Damon System – passive self-ligating devices
- Braces – traditional wires and brackets or color-matching ceramic brackets
- Aligners – designed by Invisalign
- Retainers – designed for keeping teeth in the correct positions
- SureSmile – customized archwires
- Propel – alveolar perforations for faster bone formation
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201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815
Abnormal Jaw Pains TMJ and Treatment | AMAZING FACTS in 2020
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.