Pain in the TMJ (the temporomandibular joint), in the back of the jawbone, can be terrible! This pain can spread into your face, neck, shoulders, and head.
Tension can flow from this one joint. At Pacific Northwest Smiles, we can use mouthguards and other dental appliances to relieve that pain as quickly as possible.
Do You Have TMD?
You won’t know for sure if you have temporomandibular disorder (TMD) until you come in for an exam, but here are some common symptoms you can look for:
- A locked jaw.
- Painful chewing
- Pain in the shoulders, neck, and face that seems to have no other source.
- Migraines or other headaches.
- Ringing in your ears.
- A sore jaw.
- Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw.
If you have any of these signs, call us. We can give you an exam and explain your treatment options.
How Can We Treat TMD?
TMD can be caused by strain and fatigue in the muscles associated with the TMJ (the temporomandibular joint). Those muscles can tense up or spasm, causing many painful symptoms.
We use mouth guards and other oral appliances to relieve some of that tension. These oral appliances relieve straining, so the muscles can begin to heal.
Your TMJ muscles can be fatigued because of problems like:
- Poor posture.
- An uneven bite.
- Grinding of the teeth.
- An accident damaging the face.
When you have suffered from TMJ, the facial muscles you use constantly need time to rest. A mouth guard or a similar oral appliance can:
- Keep your teeth from being able to grind together.
- Align your bite in a way that strains your TMJ less.
- Relieve stress to your TMJ caused by other issues.
When you come in for a TMD relief appointment, we’ll give you a professional examination and tell you what we can do to treat the problem. If you need a mouth guard or other appliance, we can start preparing your custom device.
This device will give your TMJ relief from the straining motions and pain. With some time to heal, your TMJ pain may completely disappear.
Can I Relieve TMJ Symptoms at Home?
It depends on the severity of your symptoms and what is causing them. For mild TMJ discomfort, trying at-home remedies like applying ice or heat to the affected joint, practicing good posture, avoiding overly chewy or hard foods, and doing jaw exercises can often provide relief. However, if your symptoms are more severe or persistent, it's best to see Dr. Darren Greenhalgh and his team at Pacific Northwest Smiles of Mill Creek, WA, for an evaluation and potential treatment plan. Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new medications or treatments for TMJ or other dental concerns.
Are There Long-term Effects of Untreated TMJ?
If left untreated, TMJ disorders can lead to chronic pain and difficulty performing daily tasks such as talking, eating, and even opening your mouth. In some cases, it can also result in permanent damage to the temporomandibular joint. If you suspect you may have TMJ, don't ignore your symptoms and seek professional help as soon as possible. Taking care of your jaw now can save you from future discomfort and potential complications.
What Does a TMJ Headache Feel Like?
A TMJ headache often feels like a constant, dull ache near the temples or in front of the ears. It may also cause pain in the jaw and neck muscles. Keep in mind that not all headaches are related to TMJ. That is why it is critical that you see a doctor or dentist for an accurate diagnosis. A medical professional can rule out any other potential causes and provide proper treatment options for relieving your discomfort.
Will TMJ Go Away on Its Own?
Unfortunately, TMJ disorders typically do not just resolve on their own. While the discomfort may come and go, you will want to address any underlying issues in order to prevent long-term complications and manage symptoms effectively. If you are experiencing persistent jaw pain or discomfort, don't wait! See Dr. Darren Greenhalgh and his team at Pacific Northwest Smiles in Mill Creek, WA, for a proper diagnosis and to discuss possible treatment options.
Are TMJ and Tinnitus Related?
There is a possible link between TMJ disorders and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. This is because both conditions involve problems with the nerves and muscles in the head and neck area. If you have both TMJ and tinnitus, seek professional help, as treating one condition may also provide relief for the other.
Schedule an Appointment for TMD Relief
Don’t let temporomandibular disorder (TMD) disrupt your life any longer! Make an appointment, so we can start your treatment and begin the healing process.
If you’ve been living with TMD pain, it’s time to give your jaw a rest! Make an appointment with us today at (425) 357-6400. This could be your first step to getting away from that pain, being able to concentrate again, and enjoying your life more.