It’s officially Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Awareness Month! Every November, we like to take time to remind our patients about this painful disorder and let them know that relief is possible!
This year, the team here at Heroes Dental wants to celebrate TMJ Disorder Awareness Month by answering some of the internet’s most-asked questions about TMJ disorders! Keep reading to learn more from your dentist in McAllen, TX!
What Is TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a relatively common disorder most often affecting people between the ages of 20 and 40. The disorder involves inflammation in the sliding joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorder symptoms include:
- • Jaw and facial pain
- • Aching pain in or around your ear
- • Difficulty chewing
- • Pain while chewing
- • Jaw locking
- • Clicking from the joint
- • Grating sensation with chewing
Does Stress Cause TMJ?
Does stress cause TMJ disorders? The short answer is, yes. The long answer is a little more complicated.
TMJ dysfunction can be caused by a few different types of damage, either damage to the cartilage of the jaw or damage to the jaw itself. These types of damage can be the result of a few different issues:
- • Arthritis
- • A physical blow to the jaw
- • Connective tissue diseases
- • Chronic teeth grinding
You might have noticed that stress is not included in the list above. That’s because stress itself doesn’t directly cause TMJ disorders. Instead, stress can cause chronic teeth grinding, which can then result in TMJ dysfunction.
Does TMJ Pain Come and Go?
TMJ pain caused by TMJ dysfunction doesn’t tend to be a consistent symptom. Instead, this pain can come and go over time, sometimes flaring up and then fading away. For most people with TMJ disorders, they will experience peaks in their pain that fade within a few days. More consistent pain may be associated with more severe cases of TMJ dysfunction or they may be a sign of a deeper problem.
Does a Mouthguard Help With TMJ?
Dental mouthguards are one of the top treatments for TMJ pain. TMJ mouthguards can help relax and realign your jaw, preventing pain. These mouthguards can also hold the jaw in place, helping to prevent teeth grinding. TMJ mouthguards are custom-made to support and reposition your jaw, so it may take a few adjustments before you start to see results.
Does TMJ Ever Go Away?
For most people with TMJ, the pain will go away on its own within a few days. Still, the condition can flare up at other times. Thankfully, it is possible to permanently treat TMJ dysfunction. This is done through jaw exercises, mouthguards, and surgery in some severe cases.
Get TMJ Relief With Mouthguards for TMJ From Heroes Dental in McAllen
If you’re suffering from flare-ups of jaw and facial pain, you might just have a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders can be incredibly painful, but you don’t have to keep suffering: treatment is available.
Come see your dentist in McAllen, TX, at Heroes Dental to learn whether or not you have a TMJ disorder and to get treatment for your jaw pain.