TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is one of the most important parts of your face. Unfortunately, an injury or unconscious habit of grinding your teeth can damage this joint and cause you unnecessary pain. What do you know about it, and how can you treat it?
How Does It Work?
Although you might think that the acronym TMJ refers to the disorder, it mainly refers to the joint that allows your jaws to work. In turn, this means you can talk and chew your food. Typically, fully-functional TMJs allow for a hinge and a slide motion, which means the jaw and mouth can move normally.
What Causes Problems
There are numerous underlying causes behind TMJ disorder. Arthritis is one cause, which is common in the elderly. Jaw injuries, connective tissue diseases, and bruxism all cause problems as well. If you are unfamiliar with the term, bruxism means that you clench or grind your teeth out of habit. You might not even notice that you do this until someone else close to you points it out. You might also have an uneven bite, either due to an overbite or an underbite – which means that either your upper jaw or your lower jaw is longer than the other.
What Are the Effects?
Sometimes you will the effects of TMJ and sometimes, you won’t. It really depends on how you’re feeling on a certain day. However, if you don’t seek medical help, the problems you experience will only get worse. You could also have trouble opening and closing your mouth, for instance. Or you will hear odd sounds such as clicking, popping, or grinding. Other times, you won’t be able to move your mouth or jaw, such as when you yawn. If you often have headaches, check to see if they are centered around your temples. This could be another sign of TMJ disorder. If you don’t get enough sleep, it could be another side effect of TMJ disorder, due to the pain you are always feeling.
How Can You Treat It?
Luckily, there are some simple remedies you can use. To help you feel better, consider taking pain relievers. Holding an ice pack to your jaw can also help, which can also bring you some relief during the hot days of a Maryland summer. Eat eggs or soup when you feel hungry since these foods are softer and are easier on your jaw.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH HAPPY WITH ANNAPOLIS DENTAL CARE!
Whether it’s a regular check-up you need or a tooth extracted, Annapolis Dental Care has the expertise and compassion to work with you on improving your oral health. Your comfort and health are our top priorities, and so we go above and beyond to make our patients happy and give them the highest quality care. To set up an appointment today, please give us a call at 410-571-5014 or visit us online. For more oral health tips for you and your family follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube! We are always looking for new patients, so if you live in Arnold, Annapolis, or Anne Arundel County, MD, come on down!