The truth about TMJ problems
Your temporomandibular joint, also called TMJ, connects your jawbone to your skull and performs a very important function in chewing and speaking. It is also a unique joint that moves as a sliding hinge, unlike any other joint in your body. Because of its unique characteristics, the TMJ can
move out of alignment and become inflamed. TMJ inflammation can cause all kinds of other problems like headaches and facial pain that can be severe. There is help for your problems from dentist, Dr. Benjamin Crusan at Mountain View Dental - Salmon Creek in Vancouver, WA.
Dr. Crusan wants you to know some of the common signs and symptoms of TMJ problems, such as:
- Clicking, popping or locking when you chew or open and close your mouth
- Pain or difficulty when you chew or open your mouth
- Aching facial pain that can radiate to other areas of your face
- Jaw tenderness and pain
- Aching pain in and around your ear
For relief of minor TMJ symptoms, you can try to:
- Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth
- Avoid chewy, sticky foods and gum
- Eat soft foods
- Take over-the-counter pain relieving medications
- Gently massage your jaw muscles
- Apply moist heat or ice packs to your jaws and face
If you continue to have symptoms or your symptoms become more severe, Dr. Crusan is here to help with several professional treatments for TMJ. He may prescribe muscle relaxants, sedatives or pain medications in addition to these treatments:
- Wearing a custom-made splint or bite guard
- Physical therapy stretching exercises
- Moist heat and ice to the affected areas
- Corticosteroid injections into the jaw joint
In some extreme cases, surgery may be needed to obtain relief. Many surgical treatments can be performed arthroscopically, which is much less invasive than conventional surgery. Ideally, TMJ problems should be treated before they become severe enough to need surgery.
Do you suffer from symptoms of TMJ? Call Mountain View Dental- Salmon Creek in Vancouver, WA today at (360) 955-0005 for more information on TMJ and to book an appointment!