Jaw pain that lasts a moment, then goes away for days, weeks, or months at a time is something most people dismiss as nothing, but it can be the beginning of something bigger. Eventually, some pain goes from being intermittent to constant, and it can drastically affect your quality of life. When you start noticing jaw pain that interferes with how you eat, chew, speak, or function overall, you need to get in contact with Dougherty Dental to learn about TMJ Therapy options..
What Is TMJ?
Jaw pain is often associated with a TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorders. This is a pain in the portion of your jaw that is considered the joint between the top and the bottom jaw, that moves when you open or close your mouth. Your TMJ allows your jaw to move side to side while chewing or speaking, and up and down for the same reasons. If any of these motions cause pain, your dentist is going to need to take a deeper look.
Most of the time, the TMJ is aligned straight, which means that your teeth meet in the proper bite, and your jaw functions like normal. However, sometimes, your joint will become misaligned, meaning your teeth will now come down awkwardly, and your joint begins to experience pain. This pain can be minor to where you only notice it every now and again, or it can be constant to where it interferes with how you live life. If caught early enough, most dentists can give their patients some relief that will slow the progression of TMJ disorders, sometimes even stopping it from getting worse. If left untreated, it can progressively get worse and then require jaw surgery to attempt to bring any relief.
What Symptoms Come Along with a TMJ Disorder?
Many people who suffer from pain in their TMJ report having pain that can stop them in their tracks, now and again. The pain is difficult to predict, but it can be very intense as the disorder progresses. People with these types of disorders also often suffer from headaches, sinus infections, and even ear infections. Getting the TMJ realigned can help alleviate these symptoms and allow you to go back to living life normally.
What Options Do You Have if Your TMJ Hurts?
Most dentists will first start out with some type of a mouthguard that is customized to fit your mouth by your dentist. These help to hold your jaw in place, and keep your teeth more properly aligned. This can significantly reduce pain, and it can help to realign the jaw, minimizing or eliminating pain. These are typically worn during sleep, and restore proper alignment over time, when worn regularly. If this option does not work, the next option is going through and getting jaw surgery to help realign the jaw.
If you have been suffering from pain in your jaw, give the professionals at Dougherty Dental a call at 503-334-1141, today. They can schedule an appointment for you, and take a look at your jaw. Once they see what could be causing the pain, they can speak with you about possible solutions.