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TMJChronic headaches, facial pain, and ringing in your ears might be more than just unpleasant – these pains may be symptoms of a deeper dental issue.

Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD or TMJ, is an extremely common oral health problem that often leads to chronic pains and headaches. Many patients who suffer from this condition regularly take over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

Thankfully, at London Dental Care we offer a variety of TMJ treatments to fight chronic pain and lessen your reliance on medication.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?

Your temporomandibular joints are the joints that hinge your jaw. When they become injured or inflamed, the movement of your jaw may be thrown off-balance. This could lead to an irregular bite and chronic pains in your jaw, face, head, upper body, etc.

Three parts of your mouth affect TMJ – your teeth, facial muscles, and temporomandibular joints. If left untreated, this condition may lead to a variety of oral health problems and complications in these parts of your mouth. Treatment can help alleviate TMJ-related pain and can protect your teeth and bones from excessive wear.

What Causes TMJ?

There is no single factor that leads to the development of this disorder. In fact, it is unclear whether certain factors are the cause of TMJ or are caused by it.

That said, some causes may include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Arthritis, or
  • Excessive chewing

Being mindful of these causes throughout the day may help mitigate some of your symptoms. For instance, try to be aware of grinding and avoid excessively chewing gum.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

Because of the wide variety of symptoms and potential causes, TMJ can be difficult to diagnose. However, if you are suffering from any of the following, please inform your dentist right away.

Symptoms include:

  • Chronic headaches and/or migraines
  • Cracked, chipped, or worn teeth
  • Facial pain
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Pain in or around the jaw joints
  • Clicking or grating sounds in the joints
  • Locking jaw
  • Limited movement in the jaw
  • Numbness in fingers or arms
  • Ear congestion or stuffiness
  • Loose teeth

How Is TMJ Diagnosed and Treated?

A diagnosis will be based on the number, severity, and type of symptoms you are experiencing. After discussing your symptoms and concerns, your dentist will evaluate your bite, teeth, muscles, and joints.

During this examination, your dentist will check the interaction between the upper and lower jaws. Your facial muscles will be examined to identify any unusual strain or areas of pain. If needed, X-rays will also be taken to further examine your skull and jawbone.

If you are suffering from a poorly aligned bite (malocclusion), we will recommend treatment. A variety of treatments are available depending on the severity of your malocclusion. Splint therapy, orthodontics, restorative dentistry, and night guards are all options to discuss with your dentist.

If you have questions about temporomandibular joint disorder and treatment options, contact our office at 740-852-5771. We will be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options.

About Us

Superior dental care for the whole community in London, Ohio! Feel confident coming to London Dental Care where most of our dental hygienists have over 30 years of experience.