Temporomandibular joint disorders, also sometimes called TMD or TMJ, involve problems with this joint in the jaw, which is the one that makes it possible for people to move their jaw from side to side as well as up and down. These disorders can cause a number of issues, so those who experience any potential symptoms of this disorder should contact one of the TMJ in Wichita KS specialists to be evaluated and discuss potential treatments.
The symptoms of TMD include difficulty opening the mouth wide, chewing becoming uncomfortable, the joint locking in either an open or closed position, swelling or a tired feeling in the face, pain when moving the jaw and clicking sounds when the mouth is opened or closed. Some people also experience other symptoms which might not seem as closely related to the jaw, such as dizziness, ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing, earaches or toothaches and shoulder pain.
It isn’t always clear what causes this condition, although people who have arthritis in the joint, people who grind or clench their teeth and those who have an injury to the head or neck may be more likely to get TMJ. Anything that causes the joint to move out of proper alignment can cause TMJ. This condition tends to be more common in those between the 20 and 40 years old, but can happen to anyone regardless of age. A visit to the dentist may be necessary to verify if the problem is TMJ or another issue with similar symptoms, such as sinus problems, gum disease, arthritis or tooth decay.
A TMJ Wichita KS specialist may recommend a number of different treatments, including medication to help limit pain and anxiety or relax muscles, a night guard to help shift teeth to limit grinding during the night or dental work to help correct any bite problems. Some home treatments may also be beneficial, such as taking over-the-counter pain relievers, trying not to open the mouth very wide, eating mainly softer foods, using hot and cold packs and trying to keep the teeth slightly apart to limit clenching. In more serious cases, the dentist may recommend surgery to help correct the problem.