Discomfort, pain, or dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw is often given the blanket term of TMJ disorder. It can result from a myriad of different sources. Many times, TMJ discomfort is the result of latent tension and inflammation from chronic night teeth grinding. However, things like early onset arthritis or a previous dislocation in one or both of the temporomandibular joints could also be a likely culprit.
Common symptoms include pain around the temples or in front of the ears. This could also include discomfort when biting down hard with your molars. Some people also experience clicking in the temporomandibular joints, yet this is not a stand-alone symptom.
After professionally diagnosing your TMJ disorder, Dr. Ben Vela & Alan Rodriguez will develop a treatment strategy that fits your symptoms and their severity.
The first step often includes simple lifestyle modifications such as eating softer foods, applying ice packs to the area, and performing some basic jaw stretching exercises. This might also include taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
If you don’t feel that your symptoms are starting to abate in a few weeks, Dr. Ben Vela & Alan Rodriguez might advocate more advanced treatment strategies. This might involve taking prescription anti-inflammatory medication or using prescription muscle relaxers.
Grinding your teeth at night on a regular basis can be a primary cause of TMJ disorder or it could exacerbate existing symptoms. This is often the result of stress. If your stress issues cannot be directly resolved, they might recommend using a night guard when you go to bed at night.
If these measures do not provide relief from your TMJ disorder symptoms, they will discuss more invasive procedures. This might include things like acupuncture, the use of a stabilization splint, or surgical intervention.
If you live in the Kingsville, Texas, area and you are experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms, you should call 361.592.4373 to seek diagnosis and treatment at Vela Dental Centers Kingsville.