TMJ Disorder Treatment in Beaverton
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Jaw Joint Pain Treatment
What is TMJ Disorder?
What is TMJ Disorder? Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, sometimes referred to a TMD or TMJD, refers to dysfunction of the jaw joint which can cause many varying degrees of pain and reduced movement of the jaw. Pain can be on either side of the jaw and often effects both. TMJ can cause difficulty chewing, popping or clicking in the jaw, headaches, and even ear aches or congestion.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Some causes include:
- Overactive use, which can cause excessive wear and tear, or bruxism, the grinding and clenching of your teeth on a regular basis, could be the source. Many times people under stress will develop these habits.
- External damage from injuries.
- Arthritis in the jaw joint.
There are three major muscle groups in the TMJ which can be effected. The masseter is the strongest muscle in the human body and is responsible for the biting motion of the jaw. The lateral pterygoid and medial pterygoid are muscles of mastication, or chewing. They work together to provide rotation and hinge action, which opens and closes the mouth, and gliding motion, which allows the jaw to open wider.
By placing your fingers in front of your ears and opening your mouth you can feel the movement of the joint. This motion is kept smooth by the disc of cartilage between the condyle and temporal bone. If the cartilage is damaged or injured you may experience popping, grinding, or crunching in the joint. Without the disc in place to protect your jaw bone it can grind against other bones and even has the potential to “lock” in place.
How Can TMJ Disorder be Treated?
1 in 10 people experience TMJ disorder symptoms at some point in their lifetime. In many cases TMJ disorder can correct itself naturally within a few days. Allowing your jaw to rest by eating soft foods and avoiding gum can help the healing process. You should also try to refrain from opening your jaw widely while resting, so no singing or wide yawns.
If your symptoms continue please give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss what steps to take next. Here at Eubanks Family Dental in Beaverton we can make custom mouth guards, which cushion any grinding or clenching to protect your teeth, and in many cases will provide relief from the pain you may be feeling in your jaw area. Mouth guards may also be purchased at many retail locations. Feel free to ask us about the differences between having this done at our office located in Beaverton or purchasing a mouth guard from a retail store.