The mouth is an incredibly important part of not just your oral health, but your overall health as well. When jaw pain emerges and you are not sure what the cause could be, a dentist is actually one of the best medical professionals you can visit for both diagnosis and TMJ treatment in Lutz. As part of TMJ Awareness Month this November, here are the most common symptoms you should be aware of, what to expect at your appointment, and how to best find relief.
The Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
To start, the TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joints that connect the jaw to the skull. These joints are responsible for many of the complex movements your jaw makes on a regular basis.
The most common sign that something is wrong with your TMJ is chronic jaw pain. While this discomfort could be stemming from a number of causes, TMJ is definitely one of them you’ll need to consider. You may also notice your jaw muscles becoming tender or pain while chewing and yawning. If your upper and lower jaw are misaligned, it could be due to a jaw issue.
You should start by paying close attention to your jaw and whether or not it clicks when you open or close it. Additionally, if your jaw locks in place, there is definitely something wrong and you should call the dentist if this is the case.
How to Find Relief
Before you do see the dentist, you should know that there are some steps you can take to find relief before you seek professional treatment. For example, you can apply an ice pack or other cold compress to your cheek for about 10 minutes at a time, then remove it for an additional 10 minutes as a way to avoid tissue damage. You should do this for up to one hour to reduce swelling and discomfort.
It’s also recommended that you:
- Avoid any quick or sharp jaw movements
- Practice stretching techniques to relieve jaw tension
- Incorporate softer foods into your diet
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Prior to your appointment, it’s important that you take the time to prepare answers for the dentist so they can better diagnose your potential TMJ condition. For example, think back to when the symptoms first began as well as if this is the first time they have appeared. Have any life events affected your stress levels? What supplements and medications do you take and do you also suffer from headaches, migraines, neck aches or toothaches?
When you arrive, the dentist will perform a detailed exam of your mouth, capture X-rays and provide both a diagnosis and therapy for your TMJ, assuming they have the expertise to do so. Even if they don’t specialize in craniofacial structures, it’s very likely that they will know a dentist who does. Don’t let this possibility prevent you from getting your TMJ issue dealt with.
If you’re experiencing chronic jaw pain in Lutz, make sure to schedule an appointment with a dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Jay A. Nelson is trained in the use of oral appliances to treat sleep apnea and snoring issues, but he can also help you address your TMJ disorder. During your visit, he can recommend treatment to correct your bite, teach proper muscle exercises, and provide appliances like the NTI-tss, which stops grinding and clenching to give you much-needed relief. To learn more or schedule your next appointment, you can contact him through his website.