In the United States, one of the most common reasons for braces is an overbite, however, some forms of retainers and other types of treatments are also helpful in treating TMJ. Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ is a serious issue that can be very painful if not treated promptly. There are a number of signs and symptoms when it may be time to see an orthodontist for TMJ treatments, including jaw clipping and pain while chewing, among others. It is important to receive treatment promptly, as it can lead to even more severe symptoms, such as your jaw locking up.
5 Signs You Should Seek TMJ Treatment
Clicking or Popping in Your Jaw
Clicking or popping of the jaw is just one of the telltale signs that you may need TMJ treatment. This can be extremely painful while eating and could lead to more severe symptoms if left untreated. Catching the signs of TMJ early can greatly increase your chances of a speedier recovery. Some more severe symptoms that could arise include the jaw locking in place and serious headaches.
Your Jaw Hurts When Chewing
When living with TMJ, it can be extremely difficult to eat, as chewing is oftentimes painful and could lead to headaches and other ailments if left untreated. TMJ can affect all facets of life, even those as simple as sitting down for a meal, therefore, it is recommended that you seek treatment if you experience pain in your jaw while chewing.
Difficulty Opening Your Mouth
With TMJ, it can be difficult to open your mouth all the way, even when yawning! While attempting to open your mouth you may experience a clicking or popping sound before your jaw locks up. This can be relatively painful and should be taken care of by professional orthodontists.
TMJ affects all facets of life, as something as simple as talking can become painful. This can serve as a real detriment to people affected by TMJ, as even something as simple as communicating with others can become painful.
Clicking or Popping in Your Jaw
Due to the misalignment of the jaw, other surrounding muscles can oftentimes be affected such as the neck and shoulders. This can affect your posture and other important aspects of everyday life, and lead to additional issues in the future.
How Is TMJ Treated?
TMJ is treated in a number of different ways including physical therapy such as jaw exercises, dental splint, or a retainer. However, in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. These are all important steps to relieve your TMJ symptoms and live a more comfortable, pain-free life.
Dental Splints and Retainers
Many who are diagnosed with TMJ are treated with either a dental splint or retainer. These are oftentimes worn while sleeping and are designed to carefully realign the jaw to its correct position. Furthermore, the splint prevents you from grinding your teeth while sleeping, therefore, preventing unnecessary jaw movement.
In severe instances, oral surgery may be necessary in order to realign a patient’s jaw. Therefore, it is critical that you schedule an orthodontic exam immediately if you have TMJ symptoms.
TMJ is a serious disorder and can cause significant pain and discomfort if not treated promptly. By seeing a reputable orthodontist, you will soon be on your way to a pain-free jaw, return to enjoying meals and talking to your friends and loved ones without pain