Jaw pain can consist of constant throbbing pain in your jaw, cheeks, temples, neck, and even down to your shoulders. It may be a combination of these types of pain with frequent headaches. If you are experiencing these types of chronic pain, you may have a condition known as TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge joint connecting the two parts of your jaw. Your TMJ is one of the most complicated joints in your entire body with the abilities to move forward, backward, up, down, and side to side.
What Causes It?
TMJ disorder is usually caused by bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, or malocclusion, which is the misalignment of teeth. Both of these issues cause undue and excess pressure on your jaw. This over wearing on the jaw bone, muscles, and joint can lead to TMJ disorder. One of the largest cranial nerves also can be affected by too much pressure on your jaw, the trigenimal nerve. Pressure on this nerve can lead to the chronic and unyielding pain that you may be experiencing. Along with pain, TMJ disorder may cause the popping of the jaw, lockjaw, and trouble opening and closing your mouth. Lockjaw is when your jaw gets locked into one place; it can be quite painful.
How Is It Treated?
Oral splint therapy can be an effective way to treat TMJ disorder. With oral splint therapy, your orthodontist can gently reposition your jaw to better support the temporomandibular joint. This better position can help to relieve the chronic pain. In addition to pain relief, restoring the TMJ to its ideal position will make biting and chewing more comfortable. Splint therapy can reduce the grinding of your teeth which can prevent excessive wear on your teeth and gums.
Do you think you have TMJ disorder?
Treating TMJ disorder can protect the health of your mouth and jaw. To schedule a consultation, call Lake Country Orthodontics in Ft. Worth, TX, at (817) 236-7846. We serve adults, teens, and children from White Settlement, North Fort Worth, Springtown, Rome, Haslet, Azle, Saginaw, and surrounding Texas communities.