November 21, 2018
As a parent, you have the challenge of protecting your child’s oral health. As much as you try to prevent issues from arising, there is always the chance of a new problem developing, and one of them involves the TMJ in Las Vegas. This dynamic joint is more susceptible to dysfunction because of its dynamism and versatility. Learn what causes it to malfunction and how to recognize signs of the problem in your child.
What is the TMJ?
The acronym, TMJ, refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is located next to the ear lobe. It is one of the more versatile joints in the human body, allowing the opening and movement of the jaw in the following ways:
- In a circular motion
The joint is involved in basic functions like talking and eating food, two activities that are frequently done throughout the day. Because it is used so often, the TMJ can become inflamed and cause pain, a condition called TMJ disorder (TMD).
Symptoms to Lookout for
Issues with the TMJ don’t just happen to adults; children can suffer from this condition as well. Here are some signs that your child may have TMD:
- Jaw locking
- Chronic jaw pain
- Difficulty opening the jaw
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Ear, head or neck pain sensations
If you notice any of these symptoms, then you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a TMJ expert to have your child examined.
Contributors to TMD
There are different factors that can contribute to TMD, which include overbite, underbite, crossbite, teeth grinding or facial trauma. Therefore, along with treating the disorder, your dentist may suggest some lifestyle changes and the treatment of the peripheral issues.
How to Get Help
To help your child get relief and restore his or her jaw health to normal, you should reach out to your local TMJ expert. One of the more common forms of treating the condition is an oral appliance, which is a custom-made device that it worn at night to prevent teeth-grinding and to properly align the jaw.
Additionally, the dentist may recommend several at-home exercises to help strengthen the TMJ, which may include partial or full opening of the jaw, chin tucks, side-to-side movement and other exercises. For any discomfort, the specialist may also suggest giving your child an appropriate dosage of over-the-counter pain medication.
By being proactive and visiting a sleep center in Las Vegas to seek treatment for your child’s jaw pain, he or she can be fully restored to normal health.
About the Author
Dr. Pamela West earned her dental degree from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. Throughout her career, she has received additional advanced training in TMJ Therapy, which allows her to treat complex situations effectively. Dr. West helps children experience excellent jaw health at iSleepSolutions and TMJ Pain Therapy, and she can be reached for more information through her website.
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