TMJ dentistry in West Palm Beach
TMJ dysfunction is a common phrase relating to pain, popping, and locking of the joint within the jaw. Often, TMJ is part of the conversation when children grind their teeth or when older kids have unexplained jaw pain. However, many adults are learning that TMJ dysfunction can affect them as well.
To understand TMJ dysfunction, a disorder of the temporomandibular joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw, try this:
Place two fingers below your ear on the side of your face. You likely feel a curve along the back of your jaw. Hold your fingers in place while opening and closing your mouth or while mimicking chewing movements. You should feel the jaw sliding and pivoting within the joint. Hopefully, you don’t feel any pain or hear a clicking sound while performing this exercise. The ability to comfortably open and close your mouth is a sign that the joint is in good health and is aligned correctly.
However, if you do feel discomfort, hear a clicking sound, or if your jaw locks when opened or closed, you could have an issue with TMJ dysfunction. If the pain lasts for several days or longer, the discomfort becomes significant, or if the pain travels into your head, neck, or face, you should call a dentist.
Pure Dental Care of West Pam Beach are skilled at diagnosing and treating TMJ dysfunction. Common symptoms include pain in the jaw, ear, facial muscles, neck, or shoulder; a clicking sound when you open your mouth; pain when chewing; unexplained headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, or ringing in your ears. However, TMJ dysfunction can only be confirmed with an exam and imaging tests.
Often dental patients find relief from TMJ dysfunction by using oral appliances to decrease the muscle tension and pain caused by habits such as clenching and grinding your teeth. Sometimes patients perform these actions subconsciously or while sleeping and are completely unaware of the issue. The appliance is custom-made for each individual and keeps you from harming your jaw.
If you’re looking for a dentist who takes a holistic approach to dental care, call Pure Dental Care of West Palm Beach to schedule a consultation.Back to TMJ/TMD Page