Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Disorder
We all get a slight pain in our joints from time to time. If you are having back pain, you could lie back for a few minutes, and the pain may disappear without even needing to take some painkillers. But with TMJ, you can find it quite difficult to speak, drink or eat. That’s why it is paramount to get help as soon as possible.
TMJ is not talked about enough, but that does not mean that it is not prevalent. In fact, studies show that over 30 million people in the US are affected by the condition. Recent studies also show that over 12% of Americans are struggling with TMJ disorders. In this blog, we will answer the most common questions about the disorder to help you know when to seek treatment.
What Are the Causes of TMJ?
The exact cause of TMJ is yet to be identified. However, many experts agree that TMJ symptoms are a result of the temporomandibular joint or the jawbone having problems. Therefore, the disorder can be caused by injuries to the jawbone or muscles of the neck. Other factors that can increase the risk of the disorder include:
- Teeth grinding
- Movement of the disc that is found between the ball of the joint and the socket
- Stress that tightens the jaw and face muscles.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ is often identified by the pain and discomfort it causes. The pain is often temporary, but it can also last for quite a long time if you don’t seek treatment. Some symptoms that may indicate you are struggling with the disorder include:
- Clicking sound when the patient opens the mouth and chew food: It is especially important to see a doctor if the sound is accompanied by pain.
- Tenderness and pain in the jaws
- Swelling on the face
- Locking of the temporomandibular joint, making it hard to open and close the mouth.
- Experiencing discomfort when chewing food
How is TMJ Diagnosed?
First, the doctor will need to know the symptoms you’ve been experiencing that have made you think you have TMJ. Then, he will start examining your jaw in the following ways:
- Observing the range of motion the jaw makes.
- Pressing some areas on your jaw checking where you are experiencing the most pain
- Conducting x-ray checks if he thinks you might have the disorder.
- Conducting CT scans to see the real state on your jawbone and joints
- If there are problems with the soft tissues, the doctor may conduct an MRI scan.
Some doctors use a diagnostic technique known as TMJ arthroscopy. This approach involves the use of a cannula (a small thin tube). The cannula is often attached with a camera, and it is inserted into a person’s joint space to view the area in question. The images taken helps with the diagnosis.
What Happens If TMJ is Left Untreated?
Although it is not life-threatening, leaving TMJ untreated can cause a lot of tension and discomfort, which will only make your life harder. You will be experiencing constant headaches, sleep problems, joint damage, and more. Such consistent pain could lead to the development of other health issues such as stress and depression.
Is TMJ Permanent?
No, luckily, the condition is reversible. With proper treatment, your doctor can treat the condition once and for all. However, it will be important to follow your doctor’s instructions if you want to get rid of the problem as soon as possible. For starters, your doctor may ask you to wear night guards if you clench your teeth at night.
Can You Have TMJ for Years?
Yes, if you don’t get treatment, you could struggle with TMJ for many years. That’s why it is important to get treatment as soon as possible. Living with TMJ lessens the quality of your life and puts your future at risk.
You could develop chronic jaw pain, joint inflammation, airway sleep disorders, and recurring headaches. Seek treatment today and get rid of TMJ once and for all. We are here for you if you are looking for TMJ treatment in Scottsdale.
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