Posts for tag: tmj
Don’t let jaw pain and discomfort affect your day-to-day life!
Do you notice jaw pain, particularly when eating or speaking? Do jaws feel tired or sore when first waking up? Do you often experience headaches in the morning? If so, then our Owings Mills, MD, general dentists, Drs. Herbert and Harold Mendelson, may just have the answer to why you are experiencing jaw pain.
While there are certainly some conditions or habits that are more likely to cause jaw pain, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue to reduce the risk of pain and discomfort while eating, chewing or speaking. Your jaw pain could be due to:
Temporomandibular (TMJ) Disorder
This joint dysfunction disorder is one of the most common causes of jaw pain. Even though it isn’t always possible to be able to determine the cause of TMJ disorder, it can be the result of bad habits such as teeth grinding, structural deformities/abnormalities, a traumatic injury to the jaw joint or arthritis.
If your jaw pain is also accompanied by jaw stiffness or a popping/clicking sound when opening your mouth, then it’s time to turn to our Owings Mills dentists to find out if a TMJ disorder is to blame.
This habit can lead to jaw pain even without the presence of TMJ disorder. If you clench your jaws or grind your teeth then it seems only natural that putting all this unnecessary work on your jaws day in and day out can take a toll. Most people don’t even know that they are teeth grinders because they often do this while they are asleep.
Of course, by coming into our office every six months for routine care we can often pinpoint whether you are a teeth grinder. Fortunately, there are many ways to help eliminate this bad habit, from recommending certain stress-relieving exercises to making a custom mouthguard to wear while you sleep.
These are the two main oral causes of jaw pain; however, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other problems that can lead to jaw problems. Sometimes sinus issues, a toothache or an abscess can also cause referral pain.
If you are dealing with painful, aching jaws and you can’t seem to get the problem under control then it’s time you turned to our Owings Mills, MD, dental experts at Mendelson Family Dentistry. Call our office today!
Many people suffer from problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ); this can result in chronic pain and severely limit the function of the jaw. Yet exactly what causes the problems, how best to treat them… and even the precise number of people affected (estimates range from 10 million to 36 million) are hotly debated topics.
There are, however, a few common threads that have emerged from a recent survey of people who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD). Some of them are surprising: For example, most sufferers are women of childbearing age. And two-thirds of those surveyed say they experienced three or more associated health problems along with TMJD; these include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic headaches, depression, and sleep disturbances. The links between these threads aren’t yet clear.
The survey also revealed some interesting facts about treating TMJD. One of the most conservative treatments — thermal therapy (hot or cold compresses) — was found by 91% to offer the most effective relief of symptoms. By contrast, the most invasive treatmentâ??surgeryâ??was a mixed bag: A slightly higher percentage reported that surgery actually made the condition worse compared to those who said it made them better.
So what should you do if you think you may have TMJD? For starters, it’s certainly a good idea to see a dentist to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. If you do have TMJD, treatment should always begin with some conservative therapies: moist heat or cold packs, along with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications if you can tolerate them. Eating a softer diet, temporarily, may also help. If you’re considering more invasive treatments, however, be sure you understand all the pros and cons — and the alternatives — before you act. And be sure to get a second opinion before surgery.
If you would like more information about temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD), call our office for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Chronic Jaw Pain And Associated Conditions” and “Seeking Relief from TMD.”