Is Your Jaw Hurting? Your Dentist in West Bloomfield Can Help!

by | Jan 15, 2019 | General Dentistry

Man with jaw pain

TMJ disorder is an ailment that affects almost 10 million people in the US. “TMJ” is the short version of temporomandibular joint, or the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. This disorder occurs when your TMJs are inflamed or damaged. If you’ve been experiencing jaw pain or discomfort, you may have TMJ disorder. Thankfully, your dentist in West Bloomfield can expertly diagnose and treat jaw dysfunction. Keep reading to learn about the symptoms of TMJ disorder and what your dentist can do to help.

What is TMJ Disorder?

This disorder can cause compromised movement of your jaw and surrounding muscles. A lot of people may feel jaw pain but not know they have this disorder, which is why it’s important to know the symptoms.

The temporomandibular joint uses a hinge action and sliding motion so that your jaw functions properly. The parts of your bone that are in your joint are covered with cartilage, separated by a small shock-absorbing disk. This disk keeps everything moving smoothly, but if it’s irritated, inflamed, injured, or damaged, it can cause pain and dysfunction.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

Be on the lookout for these common signs of TMJ disorder:

  • Pain in one or both of your jaw joints
  • Tenderness in your jaw
  • Aching pain in or around your ear
  • Aching facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Locking of your jaw or joints
  • Headaches and migraines

TMJ disorder may also cause a clicking or grating sound when you open your mouth or chew. Combined with pain, this is a very common sign of TMJ disorder. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist for TMJ therapy in West Bloomfield.

Are There Risk Factors for TMJ Disorder?

Check out some factors that may increase your risk of jaw dysfunction:

  • Injury to your jaw
  • Various types of arthritis
  • Long-term grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Diseases that affect your connective tissue like arthritis, lupus, and more

How Can My Dentist Treat TMJ Disorder?

Using custom made oral appliances called TMJ splints, your dentist can alleviate jaw joint dysfunction without using more aggressive approaches like surgery. TMJ splits reduce your symptoms by minimizing pressure on your jaw joints and realigning your bite. This device prevents contact between teeth, which decreases pain and other symptoms you may have.

Now that you know more about TMJ disorder, do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Contact your dentist to get the treatment you need. That way, you can talk, chew, and go about your daily life with comfort and confidence.

About the Practice

At LakeView Family Dental, we have a team of 5 dentists who have a passion for making their patients feel better. They understand that your health issues may span beyond your teeth, which is why they offer TMJ therapy at their practice. For any questions, they can be reached through their website or by phone at (248) 363-3304.