December 15, 2018
What’s that clicking sound? Did that come from your jaw? Do you have frequent headaches or earaches? Does your jaw hurt? You’re not alone, and you don’t have to suffer silently. You may have a TMJ disorder and need TMJ therapy in Las Vegas.
TMJ is an acronym standing for temporomandibular joint, which is located at the base of the ears. Working with a complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones, it connects your lower jaw to the skull and allows you to open and close your mouth. A TMJ disorder occurs when the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together as they should, which can mean that your TMJ has to work harder to compensate.
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, but here are things to look out for:
- Pain in or around the ears
- Headaches and neck aches
- Tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
- Jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
- Jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
- Sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found
Because these symptoms are linked to many other conditions, it is common for TMJ disorders to be mis- or under-diagnosed. Don’t ignore consistent TMJ pain or discomfort. It could cause long-term consequences, such as tooth sensitivity, receding gums, premature deterioration of the TMJ, migraines, and more. Jaw misalignment can potentially put your shoulders or spine out of alignment as well. Be sure to tell your dentist if you experience these symptoms so you can get the treatment you need.
How are TMJ disorders diagnosed?
Currently, there is no standard test for TMJ disorders. Diagnosis starts when you describe your symptoms to your dentist and they conduct a physical examination of your face and jaw. Your dentist may also take X-rays or make a cast of your teeth to see how your bite fits together. Also, be sure to share your full health history with your dentist.
What causes TMJ disorders?
Although the causes of TMJ disorder remains a mystery for some patients, there are some clear causes that contribute to TMJ disorders.
- Jaw injury or dislocation
- Misaligned bite
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Excessive gum chewing
How do you treat TMJ disorders?
For most people, TMJ discomfort eventually goes away on its own. You can implement some simple, at-home tips to ease your symptoms, such as adapting to a soft-food diet, taking smaller bites, applying heat or ice, and using over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medication.
However, if symptoms persist, see your dentist for TMJ treatment in Las Vegas. They can offer therapy options, such as an oral appliance that can help your jaw realign where it needs to be. In the most severe cases, surgery may be the only option. If your dentist recommends this treatment method, always seek another trusted opinion before pursuing permanent changes to your bite or jaw.
About the Author
As the founder of iSleep Solutions, Dr. Pamela West works with a team of leading medical experts across Nevada. Since graduating from the University of South California, she has established herself as one of the “Top Dentists” in Las Vegas. She has extensive training in TMJ therapy and has studied with the finest dentists in the country. If you are experiencing TMJ pain, contact her by calling (702) 602-2000 or clicking here.
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