If you have or suspect TMJ, you should follow the correct steps to aiding your jaw’s recovery. However, let’s take a step back. What is TMJ, and is it serious? Lake Park Dental, can help you correct your TMJ in Tampa, FL.
Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint that connects your mandible to the temporal bones. In other words, a TMJ is very important and integral part of the anatomy of your mouth. The following are symptoms of an injured TMJ:
You will never experience pain in your jaw if all is well, making jaw pain a top symptom. What many people don't know is that ear pain can also be an indicator of TMJ. Ear pain can be inside or around the ear, so be aware.
As with most things going wrong, several causes lead to TMJ pain:
Arthritis of either kind can damage the cartilage within TMJ's. Osteoarthritis results from the excessive use of joints; this happens over time and is a part of the natural aging process. Excessive use then results in pain and inflammation, leading to water buildup. Water then breaks down the cartilage by attacking the proteins.
Rheumatoid arthritis is vastly different. This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease resulting in the body tearing itself apart. When the body is affected by rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system starts breaking down healthy body tissue, which could be your TMJ if you're unlucky enough.
Treatment starts at home before you visit a dentist. TMJ pain is very consistent with each flare-up meaning your case will not get worse over time. Each bout of TMJ you experience will be temporary but can last several months.
Your first course of action is to self-medicate with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Most people have these in their homes; if not, they are readily available at corner stores, drug stores, grocery stores, etc. Take as labeled on the bottle; just make sure it is an anti-inflammatory.
You may also benefit from switching up your diet. Many people find softer foods easier to process while keeping your muscles rested. Foods to stay well away from are crunchy, hard, and chewy food, as these are likely to cause you pain.
As stated earlier, TMJ flare-ups can last several months. Have you tried heating pads, ice packs, diet changes, and stretching, but the pain persists? Then it's time to call your dentist. The first thing on the agenda will be to figure out if underlying conditions are the course of the pain.
The next steps of treatment will differ but may include:
Tricyclic anti-depressants are commonly used as pain killers for those suffering from TMJ pain. Do not worry; taking anti-depressants when not afflicted with depression isn't dangerous or harmful. Your dentist is trained and will never put you in harm's way.
Make sure you talk to the professionals at Lake Park Dental, as they have been assisting people through their TMJ pain for a long time. Let these highly skilled experts guide you past your painful TMJ.