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By Dentistry at Camp Creek
January 22, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Is jaw pain making you miserable? You may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), one of the conditions your South Atlanta, GA, dentist in Camp Creek, Dr. Travon Holt, treats at Dentistry at Camp Creek.

What happens when you have TMJ?

TMJ affects the hinge joints on either side of your jaw. The joints, located just below your ears, make it possible to open and close your mouth and move your jaw back and forth and from side to side.

TMJ pain can occur if any of the bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons that make up the joint become misaligned, strained, or inflamed. Although it's not always possible to determine why someone has TMJ, you may be more likely to develop the condition if you injured your jaw. Other risk factors include bite problems, arthritis, stress, and even grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

If you have TMJ, you may notice one or more of these signs and symptoms:

  • Pain: Pain in your jaw or ear can occur with TMJ. You may notice that the pain seems worse when you talk, yawn, or chew. Tooth pain or sensitivity may also be signs of TMJ.
  • Clicking: Clicking or popping sounds that accompany opening and closing your mouth can be TMJ symptoms. Keep in mind that clicking and popping can be completely natural and doesn't necessarily mean that you have TMJ. Let the South Atlanta dental office in Camp Creek know if clicking and popping are accompanied by pain.
  • Stiffness: TMJ can cause stiffness in your jaw muscles and the muscles of your upper back and neck.
  • Headaches: Stiff muscles may cause frequent headaches.
  • Jaw Locking: Your jaw may lock in one position for a few seconds when you open or close your mouth if you have TMJ.
  • Difficulty Chewing: It's not easy to chew if your muscles are tight and painful and your jaw keeps locking.
  • Ear Issues: TMJ can cause pressure, popping, or ringing in your ears.

How is TMJ treated?

Treating underlying conditions, such as improving a bite problem with braces or using a nightguard to reduce grinding or clenching, can ease TMJ symptoms. Ice packs and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may ease pain and inflammation. Your dentist might also recommend that you wear an oral splint while you sleep. The custom-made device fits over your teeth and repositions your jaw. Wearing the splint can reduce tension in your jaw muscles and ease your pain.

Are you tired of suffering from TMJ symptoms? Call your dentist in South Atlanta, GA, in Camp Creek, Dr. Travon Holt, at (404) 629-9290 to schedule your appointment.

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