TMJ Awareness Month 2021

TMJ Awareness Month 2021

TMJ Awareness Month is observed every November. So, how well-versed are you on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)? Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are problems with the TMJ that can cause a lot of pain. It's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of TMD, and it's frequently misdiagnosed as something else. It's also possible that a mix of causes, such as arthritis or an injury, are causing jaw pain.

You'll be able to discuss your dental issues with your Denver Highlands dentist during your appointment. Dr. O'Grady and his colleagues will develop a diagnosis and recommend the treatment plan that will best suit your needs after a thorough assessment.

Understanding the Disorder for TMJ Awareness Month

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to your upper jaw. The structure of the TMJ is quite unlike other joints in the body. It is composed of three parts, connected by ligaments. There are several muscles connected to the ligaments, and each works to ensure the smooth motion of your lower jaw. A correctly working TMJ allows you the full range of motion in your jaw so that you can eat and speak without issue.

Concerns like arthritis can lead to damage to the TMJ, as can a direct blow to the joint. This can result in a temporomandibular disorder that leads to discomfort and takes a toll on your quality of life. Visit with the best dentist Denver Highlands has to offer will allow you to get the diagnosis and treatment plan that will work to meet your dental wellness needs.

Causes of TMJ disorders

It can be difficult to pinpoint the precise cause of temporomandibular disorders. Quite often, medical professionals treat the symptoms of the disorder without an accurate diagnosis of the root cause of the issues.

The pain may result from one concern, or it may be due to a combination of several factors. 

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common cause of TMJ dysfunctions. An injury to the TMJ can also be to blame. When you visit Dr. O’Grady, the best dentist in Denver, you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns. The more information that you provide to your 80211 dentists, the better chance there is for getting an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment plan.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders

The symptoms of TMJ dysfunctions can vary greatly between individuals. There are some common symptoms seen across the board, of course. They can range in severity.

  • Discomfort or tenderness in the jaw and around the ear
  • Locking in the TMJ, making it difficult to smoothly open and close your mouth when speaking or chewing
  • Discomfort in the jaw, neck, and shoulders
  • Weird sensation felt when opening your mouth or chewing
  • Clicking or popping sound when opening your mouth

TMJ disorders may cause a grating sensation when you chew or open your mouth. They may also cause a clicking sound. However, if there isn’t any pain or limited movement when the clicking sound is present, you might not need treatment for a TMJ disorder. Whether there is pain or not, that clicking or popping sound, or a grating sensation, should be reason enough for you to visit with our family dentist Denver CO patients trust.

Treatment Options for TMJ Disorders

The symptoms of TMJ disorders can often ease on their own, with just a few minor changes. Over-the-counter pain relievers can provide a measure of relief and may also help with inflammation in some cases. Our dental office in Denver, CO, can also get further help with the discomfort, with stronger medications if needed.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, and again the underlying cause of your issues, muscle relaxers can sometimes prove to be beneficial. Some other medications that help to ease anxiety may also be used for some patients who appear to be struggling with high levels of anxiety or stress. Other techniques to treat anxiety or stress may also be recommended, including meditation, therapy, and a reduction in stressful situations.

Changes to your diet can often prove to be useful, say our friends at College Hill Dental Group, an Easton PA dental office. Avoiding hard-to-chew or crunchy foods can help to ensure that your jaw is not needing to work overtime just to chew up the foods that you are enjoying. 

Injectable medications, such as Botox or a corticosteroid, may prove helpful for some patients. 

When you need dental care, count on OG Dental. Our patients trust us to keep their family’s teeth and gums looking happy and healthy. Schedule your appointment online today! 

Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.