Do you have TMJ? If you do, you should seek the care of a TMJ dentist who can give you special treatment for your condition. Treating TMJ starts with a diagnosis, which can be easier to perform if you know signs of the condition to look for.
What are the signs you have TMJ? What can you do about it if you do have it? This guide will help you understand how to watch out for signs of TMJ and how to treat the condition as well.
Your face feels stiff and sore
When you have TMJ, your jaw will often be the first thing that feels stiff and sore. However, the rest of your face can feel sore and stiff as well. Facial pain can be caused by TMJ and a symptom of the same, particularly if it's accompanied by jaw stiffness or discomfort as well.
Your jaw pops and creaks when in use
Does your jaw creak and pop when you yawn, move your jaw up and down, or chew food in general? If so, you can have TMJ. Your jaw may also get tired and stiffen up while you are chewing particularly gummy or crunchy foods if you have a TMJ issue.
You grind or clench your teeth/jaw
Do you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep or when you're stressed? Your TMJ dentist may be able to tell whether you have this condition right away just by looking at the condition of your teeth; grinding or clenching your teeth can cause small chips or stress fractures. Severe teeth grinding is known as bruxism and is something your TMJ dentist will want to treat in addition to TMJ issues.
What your dentist can do
There are many things your TMJ dentist can do to help treat your TMJ pain and stiffness can be treated with muscle relaxers and pain relievers, either over the counter or via a prescription. Your dentist will help you learn how to manage the facial pain and headaches that are often associated with TMJ.
Another TMJ dental treatment you'll receive is the care of your jaw and teeth themselves. This is done by creating a special mouthguard that will not only help realign your teeth and jaw but also protect your tooth enamel against further damage. If you suspect you have TMJ or any other dental condition, see a TMJ dentist right away.