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What You Need to Know about TMJ Disorders

What You Need to Know about TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw with the side of the skull. It allows the jaw to move and down as well as side to side. It is widely recognized as one of the more complex joints in the human body. 

Our dentists at Dr. Korol Dental are certified to diagnose TMJ disorders and to provide injections to treat them. Book a consultation at our Calgary office to see how we can improve the health and function of your temporomandibular joint. 

TMJ disorders are a broad category of conditions varying in severity that hinder the ability of the temporomandibular joint to do its job or cause discomfort in the area. Though most TMJ disorders are not serious and may even go away on their own, some can significantly lower your quality of life and will require intervention from a dentist. 

TMJ Disorders: Causes And Symptoms

TMJ disorders usually refer to pain and soreness affecting the temporomandibular joint. The discomfort usually manifests due to one or a combination of these causes: 

  • Physical injury in the jaw or lower temple
  • Jaw arthritis 
  • Involuntary teeth grinding or clenching during sleep 
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Dental surgery
  • Jaw infections

The specific reason for the disorder can be difficult to diagnose, given the joint’s mechanical complexity. However, most TMJ conditions exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Radiating pain in the face, jaw, or neck
  • Jaw muscle stiffness 
  • Difficulty opening the jaw
  • Changes in your bite 
  • Painful clicking or popping of the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth 
  • Headaches and migraines 

Consequences Of TMJ Disorders 

Most problems with your temporomandibular joints are not serious and will go away on their own. 

However, ignoring your TMJ disorder is generally ill-advised, as you could run the risk of developing a condition that can have long-lasting impacts on your quality of life. Serious consequences of an untreated TMJ disorder include:

Cartilage degeneration: Cartilage keeps your joints flexible and helps them move properly. Ignoring your TMJ disorder could lead to damage in the cartilage making up the temporomandibular joint and an amplification of existing symptoms. 

Tinnitus: An unpleasant ringing in your ears can be a consequence of TMJ disorders. 

Tooth enamel damage: If your TMJ disorder causes involuntary teeth grinding or clenching, or bruxism, the enamel on your teeth could erode over time. 

To avoid these long-term consequences, have your TMJ disorder checked by a dental professional right away一even if it seems minor. 

Treatments For TMJ Disorders 

Although identifying the exact cause of your TMJ disorder is difficult, your dentist can recommend a range of effective treatments: 

Self-care: You can often treat your TMJ disorder successfully at home if it is minor. Give your jaw a chance to heal by eating softer foods and by avoiding clenching your jaw altogether. Gentle exercising may help as well. 

Mouthguards: Wearing a mouthguard at night can prevent your teeth from grinding and clenching and keep your teeth and jawbone properly aligned. This can allow your TMJ disorder to resolve itself. 

Xeomin: This prescription medicine is injected in the submandibular gland to relax your jaw muscle and relieve pain in the area. Note that not all dentists are certified to administer Xeomin injections. 

Surgery: A prosthetic replacement of a dysfunctional temporomandibular joint may be necessary in extreme cases. 

Manage Your TMJ Disorder At Dr. Korol Dental 

TMJ disorders are often benign, but they could lead to serious progression if ignored. Consequences of an untreated condition are more than just nagging discomfort; a malfunctioning temporomandibular joint can deteriorate cartilage and prematurely wear out your tooth enamel. Always ask for professional advice on treating your TMJ disorder. 

Hundreds of Calgarians choose Dr. Korol Dental to provide dental services and to treat their TMJ disorder. Our dentists are not only adept with a range of TMJ treatments, we are also certified to administer highly effective Xeomin injections一if necessary. Call 403-245-9099 or fill out the online contact form to schedule an appointment.

FAQs

Q: How common are TMJ disorders?
A: TMJ disorders are quite common; 12% of people in North America are affected by a TMJ disorder at any given time. 

Q: How can I prevent TMJ disorders?
A: You can minimize your chances of developing a TMJ disorder by:

  • Keeping your face relaxed with your teeth apart
  • Eating fewer foods that are tough or chewy
  • Avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth 

Q: How long does it take for a TMJ disorder to go away on its own?
A: This depends on the cause of your TMJ disorder, though most symptoms subside in a few days to

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