January 20, 2016

If you have been listening to your dentist, you’re probably well aware that there’s more to oral health than just preventing tooth decay. Other factors like food acidity, digestive health, and even general fitness can have a huge impact on your teeth. So can nervous habits, like tooth grinding. Sometimes, grinding and other habits are also a sign of a deeper joint problem in the jaw. TMJ, the temporomandibular joint, is also the abbreviation for chronic pain in this location.

Signs and Symptoms

If you experience more than one of these symptoms, it is a good idea to consult a local cosmetic dentist in Chesapeake, VA:

  • Tenderness around the jaw that persists, with or without pain
  • An ache in and around the ear, especially if it gets worse as the jaw moves
  • Difficulty or discomfort with chewing
  • Aching or long-term pain in one or both sides of the face
  • Joint locking, making it difficult to move the jaw and open your mouth

It’s important to remember that temporomandibular joint disorders can be caused by a variety of physical health conditions, which is why it is important to work with a local dentist with a history of TMJ diagnosis and treatment.

Moving Forward With Treatment

The most common cause of this kind of joint disorder is disc displacement on one or both sides of the jaw, but this displacement can be caused by a variety of health conditions. This includes basic bad habits like grinding teeth or sudden injuries like vehicle accidents. The good news is that most treatments are non-surgical and include pain management for the symptoms. Only professional diagnosis can determine the right course of treatment for any individual’s joint disorders.

To find out more about temporomandibular joint disorders and treatment plans, make Dr. Cranham your local cosmetic dentist in Chesapeake, VA by calling (757) 251-9902 to make an appointment.



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