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Does TMJ Affect the Teeth or Gums?
TMJ disorders can be common with people of all ages. If you are experiencing jaw pain, you should talk to your dentist about how to treat this issue. This disorder can make it difficult to eat or speak, so you do not want to put off getting help. Understanding more about this condition can help you feel more at ease and be prepared for visits to the dentist’s office. There are also things you can do on your own to overcome the discomfort.
An overview of TMJ disorders
The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull. It is like a hinge, helping with jaw movement. This joint works with muscles in the jaw when a person eats, speaks, or yawns. A healthy joint will have no problems performing these duties. However, strain, overuse, or injuries could impact its ability to work effectively. When these issues occur, there can be severe pain or irritation with the joint.
Signs that a person has this disorder
Occasional, minor jaw pain is probably not a reason for concern. However, if these feelings persist, the individual should call their dentist. The most common sign is pain and tenderness in the jaw. This can be present while the person is eating or even when not using the jaw. Some people have pain near the ear. The joint may even lock, making it difficult to open and close the mouth.
How it happens
It is unclear exactly why TMJ disorders happen. However, hard blows to the face in an accident or sports injury could damage the joint. Arthritis may also play a role in the condition. This disease could erode the cartilage surrounding the joint. Over time, the disc could weaken or erode and fall out of place. Genetics could be another cause.
The right treatment
The dentist will consider a few options to treat TMJ. At first, the dentist may monitor the condition and see whether it improves. With some patients, the pain eventually subsides without any intervention. The dentist may prescribe a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication. These can help with the discomfort and bring down any swelling. Physical therapy is usually the next step. In the most serious cases, the dentist may recommend surgery on the jaw or steroid injections.
Affecting the teeth and gums
While gum pain is rare for people who have TMJ, it can lead to problems with the teeth. This condition can cause people to clench their teeth. This often leads to misalignments, bite dysfunctions, teeth sensitivity. The more quickly the dentist can treat the disorder, the more likely the patient can avoid further dental problems.
Do not put off a visit to the dentist
If you have jaw pain, you could have TMJ disorder. You should not ignore this discomfort. Instead, call your dentist today and describe your symptoms. Your dentist will examine you and diagnose your condition. Various treatments are available to relieve these issues and help your mouth function without difficulties.
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