A temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can cause severe pain and tenderness in a person’s jawbone, as well the muscles used to control jaw movement. When a person is having issues with their temporomandibular joint (TMJ), it should be taken very seriously. Although the problem may go away on its own, it can also become worse over time. If this occurs, then a patient may require more extensive treatment to properly fix the issue.
There are several possible causes of a TMJ disorder. The condition is usually the result of genetics, arthritis, injury or excessively grinding one’s teeth. Patients suffering from bruxism should be particularly careful, as clenching and grinding one’s teeth while asleep can result in very serious consequences. Some issues that a person can experience when this problem occurs include severe pain and damage to one’s oral structures.
Additionally, people with a prior history of TMJ disorders, as well as those with a family history of arthritis should be on the alert as well. These people have a higher likelihood of experiencing a TMJ disorder. Therefore, they should be wary of any pain or discomfort that their jawbone experiences, as it may represent a serious problem.
When we suspect that a patient is suffering from a TMJ disorder, we will typically conduct a series of tests in order to determine if this is the case. These tests usually involve:
- Listening to and feeling the jaw as it is moved
- Measuring the jaw’s overall range of motion
- Identifying areas of pain or discomfort
In the event that the patient is experiencing a TMJ disorder, we will work to eliminate any pain or discomfort. In some cases, the pain associated with a TMJ disorder will eventually go away on its own. Other cases may require some type of medical intervention in order to properly solve the issue.
The most common treatment methods for TMJ disorders include:
- Pain medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Mouth guards
If you are suffering from severe jaw pain, the experts at Hilltop Dental Studio may be able to help. A visit to our practice will allow us to determine if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder. You may call us at (540) 317-1139 to schedule an appointment.