TMJ, or your temporal mandibular joint, connects to the jawbone. You have two TMJ’s on each side. Like your other joints, it could become inflamed, injured, or infected. With that being said, the way that your TMJ is designed makes it function differently from other joints in your body.

TMJ afflicts over 35 million people in the US and affects more women than men. Jaw pain is usually the first symptom of TMJ disorders and usually begins with a dull aching pain with your jaw muscles becoming very tender.

Other symptoms of TMJ may include:

  • Chewing discomfort
  • Difficulty chewing
  • An uneven bite
  • Ear pressure or pain
  • Headaches
  • Painful grating, clicking, or jaw popping when you open and close your mouth
  • Pain in your neck, face, and shoulders
  • Jaw muscle stiffness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Dizziness
  • Not everyone with TMJ will have every symptom while some people do not experience any pain.

    If Dr. Katherine Toubian, believes that you might be suffering from TMJ, she will order x-rays and perhaps fit you with a mouth guard.

    A new type of support, the NTI-tss, is a splint that was designed to fit over your top teeth in the front. This support ensures that your back teeth are separated as most of your clenching happens in your back teeth. These types of splints may only be successful for a short time and could actually change your bite. If mouth guards and splints are unsuccessful, Dr. Toubian may advise orthodontics in order to re-align your teeth.
    Tension headache

    Another technique that Westwood Family Dental might use is more invasive, but most patients find that they become very relaxed after the treatment, which involves a local anesthetic. After you are localized with anesthetic, Dr. Toubian will insert two needles into your TMJ in order to wash out the joints with a cleansing mixture.

    There are some things you can do yourself to help treat TMJ and these include:

  • Avoid chewy and hard foods
  • Stop chewing gum
  • Learn relaxation techniques in order to loosen your jaw
  • Watch your posture when standing and sitting
  • Relax facial muscles
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Use warm compresses on your face every day for twenty minutes
  • Take anti-inflammatory over the counter medications like Motrin or Tylenol
  • Keep your lips together and teeth slightly apart
  • If you suspect that you may be suffering from TMJ schedule an appointment with Westwood Family Dental.

    Westwood TMJ