Our Dental Blog
Posts for: March, 2022
Are you dealing with a TMJ disorder? Find out how to alleviate your discomfort.
Everything from dental misalignments to stress can lead someone to deal with an uncomfortable and common jaw problem known as a TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which are joints found on both sides of the face that connect the jawbone to the skull. These joints are responsible for all jaw movements, from speaking to chewing. From the office of your Gentle Art of Dentistry dentist, Dr. Carol Cunningham and Dr. Daniel Jurgens, learn more about TMJ-related jaw pain and how you can reduce symptoms in Decatur, IL.
Is my jaw pain due to a TMJ disorder?
So, how do you know what’s causing your jaw pain? This is where our services come in. If the pain is severe enough or persistent, then you may want to play it safe and schedule a consultation with us. If you do have a TMJ disorder, symptoms may include:
- Aching jaw pain
- Jaw pain that gets worse when speaking, chewing, or biting
- Jaws that are tender to the touch
- A clicking or popping sound when opening your jaws
- Jaws joints that lock up when opening or closing your mouth
- Limited mobility of the jaw joints
You may also feel like your jaws get tired more easily, especially when chewing. Of course, there are some people who have a TMJ disorder but don’t experience pain or other issues.
How do you treat jaw pain?
Medications, certain therapies, and lifestyle modifications may be recommended to help reduce jaw joint pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Some people find success by eating softer foods and avoiding bad habits like chewing their nails. Even avoiding bubble gum can help!
Common medications include muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories, to reduce both pain and swelling. You can also apply moist heat or a wrapped ice pack to the area when pain is exacerbated.
If your TMJ disorder is due to a tooth and jaw misalignment, orthodontic treatment may be recommended to correct the problem. If your TMJ disorder is due to teeth grinding or stress, our dentist can create a custom night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Sometimes counseling or finding outlets to alleviate your stress can also reduce your symptoms.
If you are dealing with severe or chronic jaw pain, it’s important that you turn to Dr. Carol Cunningham and Dr. Daniel Jurgens at Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL, for an immediate evaluation. The sooner you seek care the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery. Call our office today to find out how we can help get rid of your TMJ disorder pain, at 217-422-7448.