TMJ, or the Temporomandibular Joint, is the jaw joint. Sometimes you might experience a persisting pain near your ears and the muscles on either side of your face, accompanied by reduced movement and a clicking sound every time you open or close your mouth. The patient is then suffering from TMD, i.e., Temporomandibular Disorder, which is a dysfunction of the jaw joint and the muscles surrounding it.
What are the Causes of TDM?
- Grinding or clenching of teeth due to a variety of factors puts a lot of pressure on the jaw joint, thus causing TDM
- Sometimes the soft cushion or the disc in between the joint moves from its original position
- Arthritis in joints causes TDM
Symptoms of TDM
- When the disk in between your jaw joint shifts from its position, you hear a slight popping or clicking sound while opening or closing your mouth. This may or may not be painful.
- Jaws get locked each time you open or close your mouth.
- Uncomfortable bite and trouble with chewing.
- Swelling on both sides of the face with a tired feeling.
- Toothache and ringing in the ears.
How to Prevent TDM?
- Use cold packs to numb the pain and do a few jaw stretches as directed by your dentist. After this, apply a hot towel or pack over your cheek for a few minutes.
- Eat soft food and liquids.
- Stop resting your chin on your hand, and don’t perform extreme jaw movements.
- Nightguards, which are plastic mouthpieces, can be fit in between your jaws to lessen the clenching of teeth.
- The biting surface of the teeth can be balanced using crowns and bridges by dental professionals to avoid TDM.
The Procedure of TMJ Treatment
In extreme cases, when other treatments like radio wave therapy or low-level laser therapy fail to give you comfort from lock-jaw, your dentist may suggest surgery.
It is performed with an arthroscope that is a special tool with a lens and light on it. After general anesthesia, the instrument is inserted through a small cut in front of your ear. The inflamed tissue is removed, and the disc is realigned.
In this surgery, general anesthesia is given, and the area around the joint is opened up for better access. This surgery is performed if you have tumors in or around the TMJ if your joint is somehow damaged, or if the bone structure in your joint is breaking down. In such cases, arthroscopy cannot be inserted, so open-joint surgery is the only option.
Please reach out to our Premier Arts Dental in Freehold, NJ, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Shah. Please call us at (732) 702-2787 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.