Our best advice is to catch this issue early! Often overlooked temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most impactful dental issues one can have. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for everyday movements such as eating, speaking, swallowing, and breathing. Left untreated this condition can cause the following chronic symptoms:
- Facial pain
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- “Locking” of the jaw joint
- Jaw sounds like popping, grating, or clicking
- Hearing loss
- Ringing of the ears
- Difficulty chewing or biting
Fortunately, TMJ can be corrected without surgery. Because this dysfunction is often caused by teeth grinding, arthritis, jaw misalignment, or in some instances injury a simple mouth guard will usually alleviate the problem. In more severe cases our doctors may recommend a steroid treatment in addition to the mouth guard to speed the healing correction.
More good news! A diagnosis is usually inexpensive compared to many dental procedures. A simple oral exam, X-rays, or CT scan may reveal the extent of the jaw abnormality. Our office also has 3D Imaging in-house that is an excellent tool for diagnosing these kinds of dental problems.