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What Causes TMJ?

What Causes TMJ?

Have you been diagnosed with TMJ disorder or wondering if that pain in the jaw is caused by TMJ? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of TMJ disorders with help of Dr. Michael Nussbaum, DDS, the best TMJ oral surgeon in Austin, Tx.

What Is TMJ?

The two joints that link your lower jaw to your skull are known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). They are the joints that move and rotate in front of each ear and are made up of the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (base of the skull).

The mandible moves up and down, sideways, and back and forth with help of these joints and the muscles around it. It facilitates actions like eating, talking, yawning, and swallowing when the mandible and the joints are properly positioned. But when the entire structure around the joints stops working harmoniously and starts dysfunctioning, it leads to a condition called TMJ Disorder.

TMJ disorder causes pain in the jaw and face which may radiate to the head as well.

What Causes TMJ?

TMJ disorders are a common problem, and there are many potential causes. The exact cause of TMJ is yet unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of factors, including genetic predisposition, injury, and stress.

  • Clenching and grinding:

One common cause of TMJ disorder is bruxism, a condition where people grind or clench their teeth, voluntarily or involuntarily, under stressful conditions or even during sleep. The condition does not always lead to TMJ disorder but is a common trigger for TMJ pain.

  • Bite misalignment:

If your teeth aren’t aligned properly, it may create a cross bite when you close your mouth and put pressure on either or both Temporomandibular joints.

  • Arthritis:

Arthritis is another potential cause that leads to chronic inflammation around the TMJ joint leading to pain and restricted movement. It also makes it difficult to move your jaw muscles and thus restricts the opening and closing of the mouth.

  • Injury:

An injury to the jawbone or the joint caused due to accident may also lead to dislocation of the joint which restricts movement of facial and jaw muscles making it difficult and extremely painful to eat, drink or talk normally.

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How Do I Know If I Have TMJ?

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, headaches, or other problems with your jaw, you may be wondering if you have TMJ. There are a few different ways to tell if you have TMJ. First, do a self-exam of your jaw and face. Check for any pain or tenderness in your jaw, especially when you move it. Also, look for any swelling or redness around your jaw.

Another way to tell if you have TMJ is hearing clicking sounds in the jaw when you move it or having trouble while opening or closing your mouth. TMJ disorder may also give your headaches that are mild or severe. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see a doctor or dentist to get checked out.

How Is TMJ Treated?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for TMJ, as treatment will vary depending on the individual’s symptoms and the underlying cause of the condition. There are many ways to treat TMJ, depending on the severity of the condition. Common treatments for TMJ include oral splints or mouthguards, steroid injections, and surgery.

For mild cases, over-the-counter pain medication may be enough to provide relief. Even stress-relief techniques and cold or hot compress can be used for instant relief from TMJ pain.

For more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe stronger medication or recommend physiotherapy. For patients suffering from bruxism, wearing a mouthguard during sleep can help take the pressure off the jaw joint. Surgery is usually the last resort and recommended in rare cases.

If you think you may have TMJ, it is important to see a TMJ dentist for an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, the dentist can develop a treatment plan that is best for you. A combination of treatments may be necessary to provide the best relief.

Where Can I Go For More Information?

For more information on TMJ, you can visit 360 Dental Care in Austin to consult Dr. Michael Nussbaum. Dr. Nussbaum will assess your teeth, muscles in the jaw and neck, and the joint itself to understand where your pain is originating from. If it is necessary, Dr. Nussbaum may also take X-rays to see any underlying structural causes of your TMJ.

Determining the severity of your case, Dr. Nussbaum will determine the appropriate treatment plan for you specifically and even recommend self-care tips to prevent the reoccurrence of TMJ pain.

So if you live in Austin, Tx, or nearby areas, do visit 360 Dental Care to find the best solution to manage and treat your TMJ disorder.

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