Don't Live with TMJ Pain

TMJ disorders are the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain, second only to back problems. About a third of the population has a TMJ issue to some degree, and up to 7% have a severe case that requires treatment. 

Dr. Benjamin Wang at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry helps people throughout the greater Portland, Oregon, area relieve their TMJ symptoms, and he can do the same for you. Here’s what you need to know about this common source of pain and how to get rid of it.

Why does my jaw hurt?

Your TMJ connects your jaw to your skull, and it works hard every day chewing and grinding your food, as well as helping you talk, yawn, and yell. So it stands to reason that if you have inflammation or damage in the joint, you’ll experience pain. This is called TMJ disorder or TMJ syndrome.

TMJ pain can occur in your jaw, temple, ear, or even as a headache.

What causes TMJ disorder?

There are many things that can trigger TMJ disorders, but they generally boil down to three main categories: disease, misalignment, or excessive pressure.

Disease

Arthritis can affect your jaw joint just as easily as other joints in your body. In fact, if you have arthritis in your jaw, it likely began elsewhere in your body and migrated. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common types to affect your TMJ.

Infection and autoimmune diseases can also compromise the function of your jaw and lead to TMJ disorders. 

Misalignment

When any part of your body is out of proper alignment, you’ll feel the consequences, and your jaw is no different. Here are some of the main causes of jaw misalignment:

Any of these conditions can change the way your jaw functions, leading to inflammation and pain.

Pressure

Although your jaw is incredibly strong and able to withstand great pressure, too much is too much. Over time, excess sustained pressure and overuse can cause TMJ disorders. These might be the culprits:

Overcoming TMJ

The good news is that most cases of TMJ disorder can be treated in the comfort of your home. As long as your condition isn’t caused by an infection or disease, chances are you can get some relief by trying one of these simple approaches.

If your TMJ disorder is more advanced, and you need Dr. Wang’s help to alleviate your pain, he assesses your symptoms and health history before developing a treatment plan just for you. 

One of the most successful treatments is a custom-designed mouth guard to alleviate pressure from grinding (especially at night) and to help realign your jaw.

Dr. Wang might also suggest physical therapy to help strengthen weak muscles and keep your jaw in harmony with the rest of your body.

Surgery is very rarely required to help resolve TMJ disorders, but Dr. Wang lets you know exactly where you stand. He carefully considers all your symptoms and test results and makes an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan that can have you eating and chewing again without restrictions or pain. 

If you’re experiencing some of these TMJ disorder symptoms, don’t live with it any longer. Call us for an appointment or use our online booking tool today.

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