What is TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on either side of your head by your ears, and they help your jaw to move like a hinge. When there’s an issue with these joints, you may have a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.
This disorder is characterized by jaw popping and clicking while you chew or yawn, as well as pain, headaches, and limited movement.
Causes of TMD
The TMJ is a complicated area of your body and there are many reasons why it can malfunction. Because of this, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of your TMD.
Some potential causes of TMD are damage to the area due to an accident or sports injury, arthritis, and jaw tension due to clenching or grinding. These can all put stress on your jaw area and cause pain.
Symptoms of TMJ Issues
Some of the most common TMD symptoms are:
- Sore jawbone joint
- Inflammation in the jawbone or joint
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Aching face and jaw
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
If you experience these issues, contact our Aspen area dental office by calling (970) 279-5647. We can schedule a consultation with you to have a look at your jaw joint and determine if TMJ treatment can help you.
TMD and Arthritis
Arthritis can also affect your TMJ in different ways. If you have osteoarthritis, your cartilage can be destroyed, including the cartilage around your TMJ. THis can make the joint hurt as you move your jaw since there’s nothing left to pad the bone.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, your bones can become weak and disintegrate. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects your other joints before it makes it to your TMJ, but it can cause your jawbone to become weakened.
At Elevate Dental Wellness, we provide comfortable, natural TMJ treatment so you can ease your pain. At-home pain relievers and certain exercises can help, but some patients require additional treatment to ease their jaw pain quicker.
We offer nighttime mouthguards for TMD treatment when indicated. They may look similar to a sports mouthguard, but they’re designed to keep your teeth from grinding against each other while you speak. They can also protect you from some of the negative effects of jaw tension.
Your nightguard will be custom-created for you, so it’ll be comfortable enough to wear while you sleep. In the majority of cases you don’t have to wear your mouthguard throughout the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I see a doctor for TMJ?
You should see a doctor for your TMJ as soon as you notice an issue. Even if your TMD isn’t too bad at the moment, it can get worse if left untreated.
Our dentists at Elevate Dental Wellness can thoroughly examine your jaw joints for signs of a disorder and provide comfortable treatment that’ll ease your pain. You may be able to prevent difficulties with your jaw joints if you seek treatment before your disorder becomes severe.
What causes jaw pain when chewing?
Jaw pain while chewing can be a sign of TMD, which is often a misalignment of your jaw joints. These joints, located on either side of your head, help your jaw to act as a hinge. When something is wrong with them, they can become painful when you open your mouth.
Realigning your teeth and jaw can help alleviate this pain. Your TMD could also be caused by jaw tension, which we can help you relieve through learning exercises or healing injections.
Is ear pain when chewing or yawning normal?
No, ear pain when chewing or yawning isn’t normal. This could be a sign of TMD, a disorder affecting your jaw joints. These joints are located on either side of your head, in front of your ears, so they can affect your hearing and cause ear pain if there’s an issue.
With treatment, this pain should go away and any hearing loss you’ve had may be recovered. Our Elevate Dental Wellness dentists can get you back to normal so you won’t feel pain throughout the day.
Get the Treatment You Need
You don’t have to live with jaw pain and popping. With treatment, you’ll be able to live your daily life without having to worry about TMJ issues.