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Understanding All About TMJ in McLean

TMJ refers to temporomandibular joint disorders are a group of oral or maxillofacial conditions that lead to various dysfunctions, stiffness, and pain in the jaw joint and its related muscles that control our jaw movement. As estimated, it’s more than 10 million Americans are affected with the painful oral condition, even though there’re lots of confusions among people about TMJ. If you have persistent pain in the jaw joint, experience stiff joint muscles while speaking, chewing, or laughing, then you’re recommended to see a dental expert specializing in TMJ in McLean ( www.mcleanhealthysmiles.com/tmj ). To know more about TMJ, its potential causes, symptoms, and management methods, let’s discuss the issue in further detail.

What is TMJ?

As stated above TMJ or temporomandibular joints embrace the jaw joints and muscles that are connecting the jawbone with our skull, similar to a sliding hinge. These joints are located on both sides of our head and help us to open and close our mouth, speak, chew, shallow or laugh. Due to any cause, if the system doesn’t function as it should, it’ll cause various TMJ disorders or TMD. This is also called TMJ syndrome. Notably, more numbers of men suffer from TMJ conditions than women. There is no fixed age of its occurrence, even though mostly found in the age groups of 20-40 years.

Causes of TMJ disorders

Even though the exact cause of TMJ is not clearly known, however, according to the American Dental Association, some of its possible causes could be

•  Any kind of injury, strain, or trauma that damages the jaw alignment or displace the socket balls located in TMJ disc.

•  Arthritis that harms the joint cartilage

•  Due to disc erosion

•  Non-alignment of disks

•  Habitual teeth grinding

Symptoms of TMJ problems

You might experience common symptoms of TMJ on one or both sides of your face. And the symptoms are:

  Continual pain and tenderness in the jaw joints or chewing muscles

  Stiffness of jaw muscles, difficulty chewing

  Locking jaws or difficulty in jaw movement

  Stretching pain all through jaw, face, and neck

  Experiencing improper bite

  Aching in/ around the ear

Management of TMJ in McLean

First of all, if you’ve TMJ disorder, never panic which can only add to pain and jaw tension. Secondly, don’t make a habit to consume some painkillers to get rid of its pain, since that is not any lasting solution. Depending on the acuity of your TMJ, a specialist in TMJ undertakes different therapies and management procedures to tone down your problem. They suggest you follow a series of best practices, which you should perform at home while you will be requiring some medical intervention to effectively deal with TMJ disorder. Some of these practices include:

  Avoid leaning on your chin, biting nails, or chewing any hard substance like a pencil.

  Avoid teeth clenching or grinding, loud speaking, or singing, having chewing gum

  Avoid chewing sticky or hard foods and opt for softer food items and take them only after cutting into small pieces that help you avoid more jaw movements.

  Applying ice bags or heat packs over the painful joints.

  Following physical therapies like low-impact exercises involving face, jaw and neck and relaxation techniques as suggested for controlling jaw tension.

A specialist in TMJ in McLean ( mcleanhealthysmiles.com/about-us ) typically creates custom rehab plan depending on various symptoms and problems of TMJ patients.

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