TMJ disorder symptoms and treatment options explained by Columbia, Missouri dentist
TMJ disorder is a condition that is often misdiagnosed, but is very common – in fact, it is estimated that over 10 million Americans are affected by the disorder. At the dental practice of Chase Patton, DDS, patients in the Columbia, MO area can rely on Dr. Patton to listen to their symptoms and concerns and help them identify the source of their pain as well as effective treatment options.
Understanding TMJ disorder
The TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, are responsible for moving your jaw in the multiple positions necessary for eating, speaking, smiling, and performing other movements with your jaw. While most joints only move in one direction, the TMJs move the jaw in many directions – up and down, side to side, and back-and-forth – making them among the most complex joints in the body. When these joints become inflamed, they can cause a variety of symptoms, some of which may not seem directly related to the joint. This can make diagnosing the condition difficult if a provider is not familiar with the symptoms and the underlying issues that can cause the disorder to develop.
Common TMJ symptoms include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Ear pain
- Aching facial pain
- Chronic headaches
- Sensation of a locked jaw (either in the open or closed position)
- Inability to chew food properly or the feeling that your bite is off
- Clicking, grinding, or other sounds in the joint when you open and close your mouth
- Uneven wear and tear on your teeth
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of TMJ disorder, such as clenching and grinding your teeth or physical damage to the joint due to injury or arthritis. In addition, lifestyle factors such as stress and poor posture can contribute to the condition.
Treatment options to provide relief
Dr. Patton takes a personalized, multi-faceted approach to TMJ disorder treatment. The best way to relieve your symptoms will depend on what is causing your pain, but often a combination of therapies such as small lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, and bite splints can help you find relief.
If you suspect you have TMJ disorder, you don’t need to suffer. Call the dental practice of Chase Patton, DDS in Columbia, MO or request an appointment online today! (573) 844-4255