Did you know that chronic pain is a disease, with around 30% of worldwide individuals suffer? Chronic pain may result from several issues affecting your daily output. Besides affecting your physical health, pain may also affect your emotional and mental health.
Pain affects almost every part of your body, causing discomfort and disrupting your comfort. If you are experiencing pain on either side of your head, the specialists in TMJ in Dundalk may help. Contact them at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today to schedule your consultation.
What is a TMJ disorder?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is located at the point your jawbone meets the skull, at either side of the head. The TMJ joint enhances chewing, speaking, and yawning. TMJ disorder occurs when pain occurs on one or both sides of the joints.
You may also experience other TMJ symptoms, including;
- Difficulty chewing
- Facial pain
- Jaw locking
- Uneven bite
- Tenderness in the jaw
- Clicking sound or grating sensation when chewing
What are the causes of TMJ?
The TMJ disorder is among the most complicated joints in the body. It combines a hinge action with sliding motions to enhance speaking and chewing. Cartilage covers the bone parts that interact in the joint, and a small shock-absorbing disc separates the bones to ensure a smooth movement.
The nature and the involving use of the joint makes the TMJ at risk of various issues, including;
- Misaligned or worn down disc
- Overuse due to jaw clenching and teeth grinding
- Cartilage damage from arthritis
- Acute trauma such as a blow to the head
There are cases where there is no known cause of a TMJ disorder. You may find relief from TMJ using home treatments such as massage and relaxation techniques to reduce muscle tension.
Some of the risk factors associated with TMJ disorders include;
- Jaw injury
- Various types of arthritis
- Certain connective tissue diseases
- Long-term grinding or teeth clenching
TMJ diagnosis and treatment
You may receive your TMJ diagnosis from your medical provider or dentist. Usually, your provider will carry out a physical exam and discuss your symptoms. Then they may go-ahead to
- Observe the range of motion in your jaw
- Listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth
- Press on areas around your jaw to identify sites of pain and discomfort
Your provider may order tests to confirm the results in case of a problem, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI.
TMJ disorder may go away with at-home treatments in most cases, and you do not need to see a doctor. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend various therapies, including
- Medications to relieve pain such as painkillers and anti-inflammatories, tricyclic antidepressants, and muscle relaxants
- Therapies including physical therapy, counseling, oral splints or mouth guards
- Steroid injections
- Corrective dental treatment
- Botox injections
If symptoms persist even after trying nonsurgical treatments, you may require surgery, such as open-joint surgery.
Contact a TMJ specialist today.
TMJ usually involves pain at either side of the head. The condition may have other uncomfortable symptoms interfering with your daily activities. Visit CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today for effective diagnosis and treatments.