TMJ disorders: What you need to know
Your temporomandibular joints, a.k.a. your TMJ, are what make it possible for you to open and close your mouth. When those joints become dysfunctional, it can be a cause of pain and discomfort in the facial area. Some common causes of TMJ disorders include arthritis, injury to the jaw, misalignment of the teeth, jaw dislocation, and grinding of the teeth. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding any behaviors that may worsen TMJ pain, like chewing gum and eating food that requires a greater amount of mastication. In addition, the ADA suggests using heating packs to relieve existing pain.
A treatment option that Dr. Carter and her staff offer in the office is an assessment for a night guard, which can lessen the teeth grinding that occurs during sleeping hours. Not sure if you have a TMJ disorder? That’s a great question to bring to your next appointment. Once diagnosed, you can begin the path to decreased orofacial pain.