TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is what connects the jaw to the skull. Studies estimate that over ten million Americans are affected by temporomandibular joint disorder, which can cause a series of symptoms, including severe pain. Fortunately, there are doctors and dentists that specialize in TMJD, (such as our dentist in San Francisco) who emphasize the importance of knowing the causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.
TMJD can be caused by:
- Teeth or jaw injury
- Grinding the teeth
- Poor posture
- And gum chewing, among other triggers
The disorder can lead to mild to severe jaw pain, clicking of the jaw joint, ear pain, popping sounds in the ears, headaches, stiff or sore jaw muscles, pain in the temple, and jaw lock. These can result in serious discomfort, constant pain, and an inability to eat properly.
Treatments for TMJD range from simple to invasive tactics. Those who suffer from the disorder can employ several remedies at home, such as applying ice packs, using anti-inflammatory medications, and gently messaging the area. Eliminating sources of stress can also have a considerable positive effect. An expert in TMJ in San Francisco may be able to prescribe dental splints, medications, physical therapy, or even Botox. In serious cases, surgery may be required.