Temporomandibular joint pain, or TMJ for short, is a common but often misunderstood condition. As a result of that, many patients who experience symptoms regularly also fail to receive proper care and treatment for it. As a result, many suffer unnecessarily when there are effective ways to treat the core cause of the pain alongside medicating it to reduce the impact of symptoms. Since November is National TMJ Awareness Month, Dr. Steven Crandall and associates would like to introduce you to a few of the common symptoms of this condition.
Common TMJ Symptoms
The most common symptoms of problems with the temporomandibular joint are:
• Problems or pain while chewing food
• Aches and pain throughout the face
• Swelling or pain at one or both of the joints
• Tenderness and/or pain in the jaw
• Joint locking or difficulty moving the jaw
These common symptoms can indicate one of a few underlying causes for temporomandibular joint pain.
Understanding TMJ Causes
There are three major reasons why people develop this particular kind of pain. Typically, either the disk in the joint becomes positioned incorrectly, there is arthritis or other long-term damage, or a recent trauma has caused the symptoms. Trauma can be hard to detect—among the leading causes of TMJ complaints is nighttime teeth grinding, which many patients do not realize they are prone to.
Depending on your TMJ problem’s exact cause, the solution might be as simple as a nighttime bite splint, or it might involve a minor procedure to realign the disk in one or both joints. It depends a lot on the individual patient, which is why it is important to let Dr. Crandall or another one of the dentists on our team evaluate your case individually.
Contact us today to make an appointment, and find out how quickly you can move on from your TMJ pain. Even if the treatment takes time, diagnosis opens pain management options and gets your healing process started.