What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ refers to your temporomandibular joint—the joint which connects your jawbone to your skull. This is the most complex joint in the body because it allows such a variety of movements. The lower jaw can open and close, can protrude or retract, and can slide from side to side. If the joint or the attached muscles become inflamed, this causes TMJ disorder, and leads to many painful symptoms. TMJ disorder can cause headaches, difficulty sleeping, and shift your teeth’s natural bite or limit the movement of your jaw.
What are Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be struggling with TMJ disorder.
- Jaw pain or tenderness.
- A clicking or popping when you open your mouth.
- Decreased ability to open or close your mouth.
- Earaches, especially after waking up
- Hearing loss
Face and Body Symptoms
- A dull, aching sensation in your face
- Increased headaches or migraines
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
How Can I Treat TMJ Disorder?
Some dentists recommend aggressive dental treatment to address TMJ disorder. Dr. Vargas likes to try conservative treatments first. Treatment options include using a laser diode over the source of your pain, and educating you on preventative therapies. She finds that these approaches work better than simply handing over an appliance.
Please Note: TMJ is not a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association, so it is not accurate to call any dentist a TMJ dentist. However, dentists who are interested in providing these treatments can receive thorough post-graduate education on treating TMJ and its intricacies. We here at Dental Loft want you to make an informed choice about your provider.
If you’re interested in obtaining relief from TMJ pain, please call our Dallas office or request an appointment with our online form.