Temporomandibular joint syndrome is a pain that occurs in the jaw. This problem can travel through the entire joint which goes right up to the ear. Not only can it cause a lot of discomfort in the face but it could also spread to the neck and the ear.
Common Signs of TMJ Syndrome
Severe pain or discomfort in your jaw is the most common sign of TJM syndrome. Some of the common signs that you should look out for include:
• A loss of ability to open your mouth wide
• The feeling that your jaw is locked or stuck in a certain position
• Pain in any area of your face, especially around your mouth or through your face when you are chewing or talking
• Swelling around your face
• A tired feeling in the facial region
• Funny noises that come from your jaw like a clicking or a grating sound
Diagnosing and Treating TMJ Syndrome
The difficult part about diagnosing this disorder is that there are a number of other problems that show similar signs. The best way is to visit a dentist and tell them exactly what has been happening. When you visit them, your joints will be checked properly for any tenderness. The dentist may also ask you to take an X-ray, MRI or CT scan in order to get a clear picture of what the problem is. By studying these results, it will be possible for the dentist to diagnose the problem and then treat it accordingly.
In severe cases, surgery may be required for this problem. However, you will usually be able to treat TJM disorders with a few home remedies. Application of ice packs and heat packs usually help to loosen the jaw. Medications are prescribed by dentists in order to ease the pain and relax the muscles. A splint can be designed to stop you from grinding your teeth in your sleep and night guards are also given to some patients. A little bit of regular dental work like filling your teeth, replacing old crowns and balancing the biting surface can also make a huge difference in the amount of pressure that is put on the jaw. By taking care of your teeth and watching what you eat and how you move your mouth, you can minimize the pain and treat the problem.
Preventing TJM Syndrome
Most of the time, this problem can be prevented by changing certain habits in your lifestyle. For example, if you have a habit of chewing gum and you start feeling an occasional pain in your jaw, you should avoid the gum as much as possible. You should also stay away from very chewy food and try to stop other bad habits like biting your fingernails or chewing the tips of pencils. To prevent your jaw from locking, you should place one hand below it whenever you yawn.
If you have certain habits that cannot be controlled like grinding of your teeth, you should take a trip to the dentist. Splints are often made for people who clench their jaw or have the tendency to grind their teeth when they sleep.
Source by Juanita Swindell