Have you been facing a lot of trouble with the movement of your jaw lately? This could be due to a condition called Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which is caused due to the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the TMJ joint. Although not considering this a serious health condition can significantly hinder your jaw's movement if left untreated.
In most cases, this condition is caused due to stressed out tissues surrounding the TMJ. Frequent snacking, chewing gum, clenching the jaw, grinding the teeth, chewing on pen caps, improper sleeping positions, etc., can apply a lot of unwanted forces and stress on the TMJ and surrounding tissues. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and bruxism can also result in TMD.
Here are some of the symptoms of TMD that you can watch out for:
Getting TMD diagnosed and treated has to be taken up on priority to avoid the possible symptoms in the future. A simple yet effective means to do this is by reducing frequent movement of the lower jaw. Patients can cut down the number of times they snack every day, avoid chewing gum, make changes to their sleeping positions, etc., to get relief from TMD. Further, the TMJ and surrounding muscles can be massaged regularly to relieve the stress.
The dentist will thoroughly diagnose your oral condition to understand its severity. A nightguard can be used to prevent contact between teeth from either jaw to collide with each other. This avoids excessive wear of the teeth and also reduces the stress applied to the muscles. Further, the dentist will suggest a few changes in your routine, such as your food habits, sleeping positions, etc., and may also recommend massage therapy. In case the severity of the condition is too much to reduce by changes to the routine, we may have to perform oral surgery to change the alignment of the jawbone.
Please do reach out to us on-call (503) 574-4000 or by scheduling an online consultation with our dental professionals, and we'll be glad to assist you further.