Understanding TMJ Disorders and How to Treat Them

November 16, 2021
TMJ Tampa FL joint

The temporomandibular joint hinges the lower jaw to the skull, allowing us to open and close our mouth. Tooth pain can easily be associated with tooth decay, but a few other types of facial pain can be due to issues with our TMJ. Thus, it pays to have your temporomandibular joint or TMJ in Tampa, FL, checked to better understand the root of the problem.  

woman holding her jaw because of TMJ Tampa FL pain

Symptoms and Treatments for TMJ Problems

TMJ problems can affect us in many ways, including our ability to speak, chew, eat, swallow, breathe, or even make facial expressions. Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth are two of the most common reasons why you suffer from TMJ problems.  

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a bit difficult to diagnose TMJ problems since the pain can easily be misconstrued as coming from damaged teeth. Therefore, it would be best to have a dental professional check your mouth and confirm symptoms of TMJ problems.  

Symptoms of TMJ Problems

Despite being confused with normal tooth pain or gum problems, TMJ issues are more distinct in their manifestations. Mostly, the symptoms include:  

  • Pain in the neck and shoulders 
  • Migraine or chronic headache 
  • Jaw muscle stiffness 
  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw 
  • Painful clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth 
  • A bite that feels “off” 
  • Ear pain, pressure, or ringing in the ears 
  • Diminished hearing 
  • Dizziness and vision problems 

Indicating these symptoms and knowing these are signs of TMJ problems tremendously helps correct and solve the problem.  

Treatment of TMJ Problems

Most jaw joints and muscle problems are temporary and may last only until a few weeks or months. Therefore, one must avoid irreversible solutions as much as possible. Irreversible treatments are permanent and forever change your bite and jaw formation.  

These treatments include taking over-the-counter pain medications prescribed by your dentist. You may also do gentle jaw stretching or relaxation exercises so the tight muscles will stop contracting. 

However, if none of these treatments works, talk to your dentist to see if you should undergo extensive dental work, mandibular repositioning, orthodontics, or surgical procedures.  

man pointing at his TMJ Tampa FL

Do You Need Assistance with Your TMJ in Tampa, FL?

At Lake Park Dental, we understand how challenging it is to do your daily chores while suffering from jaw joint disorders. That is why we pledge to help our patients relieve the discomfort and pain brought by these problems so they can continue living normal lives. Call us today to learn more about our services.