Each person has a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on either side of their jaw. If functioning normally, the joint acts much like a sliding hinge and allows you to eat and speak without problem. When there is dysfunction, however, pain can occur.
Our Washington, MI, dentist can help relieve discomfort with prescribed self-care treatments and possible oral appliances.
Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
It’s important to pay attention to recurring symptoms especially when they affect your quality of life. For instance, if you notice jaw pain that radiates upward into your head every day or your jaw joint frequently makes loud popping noises, it’s time to take note and see our dentist for treatment.
Be aware that popping, clicking, or a grating sensation when chewing and opening the mouth are not outright a cause for concern. If there is no pain associated with these types of sounds or movements, you may not require treatment for a. Of course, our dentist can still work with you to determine a solution if they seem to be made worse by nighttime grinding or clenching.
Some signs that could indicate a TMJ Disorder include:
- Persistent tenderness or pain felt in the jaw
- Aching or radiating pain in and around your ear
- Facial pain
- Trouble chewing normally
- Locking of the jaw joint
When Should I Consider TMJ Treatment?
If you experience prolonged pain or general discomfort in your jaw, it may be time to receive professional TMJ treatment from our dentist. Please do not hesitate to also contact our Washington dental office if you struggle with opening and closing your jaw completely.
The cause for most TMJ disorders is not always known but treatment is still possible and can provide much needed relief. Depending on the severity of your case, our dentist can recommend the use of an oral appliance or even jaw exercises that can be performed at home.