Posts for tag: tmj
A blow to the face can result in a variety of injuries to your jaws and the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that join the lower jaw to the skull. Only a thorough examination can determine the type and extent of the injury, and how to treat it.
The pain you feel in your jaw may indicate a direct injury, usually near the joint. This could mean the joint head (condyle) has dislocated, or moved out of the joint space. It could also mean you’ve fractured your lower jaw, most commonly just below the head of the joint.
Jaw pain can also indicate structures near the jaw and joint have been damaged and the jaw is indirectly affected. In some cases a damaged tooth may be radiating pain signals through the jaw (along similar nerve paths). More likely, trauma to soft tissue near the jaw joint has swelled with inflammation, putting pressure on the joint and temporarily stopping the condyle from seating fully in the joint space.
Any of these injuries can also cause painful muscle spasms, a defensive reaction from the body that causes muscles on either side of the jaw to limit movement preventing further damage (a natural splint, if you will). Thus, the pain may be compounded by a diminished range of motion when you try to chew or speak.
It’s important, therefore, to determine the exact cause of pain and limited movement before commencing treatment. Spasms and inflammation are usually treated with muscle relaxant drugs and anti-inflammatory pain relievers. In the case of a dislocation, gentle manipulation can ease the condyle back into the joint space. A fracture would require more extensive treatment, including repositioning broken bone and immobilizing the jaw from movement to allow healing. In the most severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to internally immobilize the joint.
If you sustain an injury that results in jaw swelling and pain, you should see us without delay. The sooner we can diagnose and begin the proper treatment for your injury, the less likely you’ll encounter long-term problems and the sooner you’ll be pain and swelling free.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of jaw pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Jaw Pain.”
If your jaw pain has begun to affect your day-to-day life, you could have a jaw-related condition like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. However, you may not know how or when this condition developed. In this case, finding out the cause of your jaw pain is a crucial part of diagnosing and treating it. Learn more about jaw pain and what causes it with Quality Dental of Danbury in Danbury, CT.
What is TMJ disorder?
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your jaw. These joints control the opening and closing motion of your mouth. TMJ disorder occurs when the joints become inflamed or damaged, causing pain and inflammation. If left untreated, TMJ disorder can lead to further complications and severe pain and discomfort.
Do I have TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder is characterized by some specific symptoms, including:
- clicking or popping noise when opening or closing the mouth
- pain or swelling of the temporomandibular joint
- difficulty opening the mouth
- frequent earaches or headaches
- pain in the shoulders or back
TMJ disorder comes from a variety of causes. Some of the main causes are bruxism (teeth clenching or grinding), uneven bite, certain diseases, like arthritis, stress, and general daily wear and tear of the joint.
TMJ Disorder Treatment in Danbury, CT
Your dentist at Quality Dental of Danbury is your best source of information on TMJ disorder treatments and determining which is best for you. Treatment often begins conservatively with lifestyle changes, such as decreasing stress, resting the joint more frequently and some specialized exercises and stretches. A dental device worn while sleeping can help prevent the bruxism causing your TMJ disorder. Medication and steroid injections may also be beneficial. In severe cases of TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend surgery to manually correct the problem.
For more information on TMJ disorder, please contact Dr. James Tagliarini or Dr. Yana Rosenstein at Quality Dental of Danbury in Danbury, CT. Call (203) 743-2232 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with your dentist today!
You have probably heard a lot of people talk about TMJ disorders, but do you know what it all means? How do you know if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder?
Below are answers to some common questions about TMJ disorders.
What is a TMJ disorder?
First, we should explain that TMJ actually refers to the Temporomandibular Joint, which is the formal name for your jaw joint(s). TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorders, which is the correct name for the muscle and/or joint symptoms that commonly arise when there is TMJ pain and dysfunction. You may have heard people refer to the actual disorder as TMJ, but this name is incorrect.
When I experience TMJ pain, what exactly is happening?
Let's first understand all of the parts that play a role in your pain. The temporomandibular joints connect your mandible (lower jaw) to your skull on both the left and right sides, which makes the lower jaw the only bone in the body with completely symmetrical joints at both ends. There is a ball-and-socket relationship between your jaw and your skull on both sides, but the unique part is the presence of a cushioning disk between the two surfaces in each joint. Each TMJ has a disk between the ball (condyle) and socket (fossa), and this sometimes ends up being an especially important area when trouble arises.
So, how do I know if I have TMD?
You can never be absolutely sure, but here are some symptoms you should be sure to share with us during your examination:
- Clicking. You may experience a clicking sound in the jaw, usually due to a shift in the position of the disk inside the joint. However, if you do not have pain or limited jaw function, this symptom may be insignificant.
- Muscle Pain. The next symptom is jaw muscle pain, usually in the cheeks or temples. If the muscle is sore or stiff in the morning, this pain is usually related to clenching or grinding in your sleep. However, there are more complex muscle pains that can spread to your head and neck.
- TMJ Pain. This third symptom refers to pain actually inside one or both of your jaw joints, technically described as arthritis of the TMJ.
If diagnosed, what can I expect from treatment?
We will first need to assess the damage to your TMJ, and from there we will recommend a course of treatment to relieve your pain. Treatment may range from hot or cold compresses and anti-inflammatory medications to physical therapy or a bite guard. We may also advise you to do jaw exercises at home. In general, we will do our best to treat your issue without orthodontic treatment or surgery.
If you would like more information about TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Seeking Relief from TMD.”