If you are suffering from a tight jaw, “clicking” and “popping” when moving your jaw, or pain and headaches, you may be suffering from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). This condition can cause serious pain, lead to low-quality sleep, and has a variety of different painful side effects.
If you think you may be suffering from TMJ, Dr. John Quinn and Dr. Mitchell of Smiles For Life Family Dentistry in Summerlin and Spring Valley can help. Find out more below!
What Is TMJ?
TMJ is a disorder with the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. This joint is connected directly underneath your ear. It is the joint responsible for moving your jaw when you eat and speak.
TMJ can refer to a variety of different issues involving this joint. When the joint becomes inflamed, irritated, or is moved out of place, it cause serious pain, headaches, and jaw stiffness, among other symptoms.
What Causes TMJ?
Sometimes, TMJ can be caused by a sudden impact injury. For example, a blow to the side of the head caused by a hit in contact sports, a slip and fall, or facial trauma cause by a car accident could move the joint out of place, causing extreme pain and discomfort.
More commonly though, TMJ is caused by another chronic dental issue: bruxism.
Bruxism, also known as “teeth grinding” is quite common in adults. Bruxism occurs when the teeth are gnashed together and ground against each other repeatedly, often during sleep. Teeth clenching may also be present in patients who have bruxism.
The teeth are not intended to be “clenched” together for a long period of time. Because bruxism can cause the teeth to remain in this position for hours, the oral muscles may be overused, leading to pain, tenderness, and inflammation in the TMJ.
How Can TMJ Be Treated?
While TMJ sometimes requires surgical intervention, this is very rare. In most cases, Dr. Quinn or Dr. Mitchell will offer a custom-made teeth grinding guard or a teeth clenching guard to prevent bruxism or the clenching of teeth.
These guards are worn at night, and prevent the tooth-to-tooth contact that results in overuse of oral musculature. This protects your TMJ joint from excess pressure, and also prevents your teeth from being damaged by grinding and clenching.
Other treatments that can be used include muscle relaxants and pain medication, as well as anti-inflammatories. In some cases, injectable corticosteroids may be recommended, as they can help treat joint pain.
Suffering From Jaw Pain In Las Vegas? Contact Us Today!
TMJ can be extremely painful and can lead to difficulties opening your mouth and chewing, as well as migraines. If you believe that you’re suffering from TMJ in Las Vegas, get help from Smiles For Life Family Dentistry now!
Dr. Quinn and Dr. Mitchell have years of experience treating both TMJ and bruxism, as well as teeth clenching. So don’t wait. Contact us right away at (702) 795-2273, or come to our office at 8930 W Sunset Road, Suite 190, Las Vegas, NV 89148 to get started!