Chronic facial pain affects millions of Americans. It may be in the form of persistent headaches or earaches, or it may be in the jaw. Any of these issues may be related to the TMJ joints. TMJ disorder can bring sufferers a lot of discomfort.
TMJ – the temporomandibular joints – are the muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones on each side of the head. Working together, they connect the jaw to the skull. They’re like sliding hinges, allowing us to move our jaws to chew and speak.
It can be difficult to find the exact cause of why someone has TMJ. There are many factors involved, any one of which may be the source: injury, a tendency to clench or grind the teeth, arthritis, a misaligned bite – or something else.
If there is any good news about TMJ disorder, it’s that the pain it causes is usually only temporary. Non-surgical treatment and self-managed care may be enough to relieve the pain.
In some cases, however, your doctor or dentist may determine that surgery is in order. Generally, this is only necessary if there is something physically wrong with the joint, or to the muscles around it.
In a worst-case-scenario, when TMJ disorder is very severe, with long-lasting symptoms and severe restriction of movement, the joint may need to be replaced.
Fortunately, such cases are rare. More often than not, TMJ disorder is not serious, only lasts for a few months, and will go away with self-care and, perhaps, some basic lifestyle changes. Symptoms are usually mild and only cause a little inconvenience.
That doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. If you think you may have TMJ disorder, don’t hesitate. Call Sleep Apnea and TMJ Solutions in Brentwood TN, and schedule and appointment. Sleep Apnea and TMJ Solutions serves the Brentwood, Franklin, and Nashville area.