TMJ Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

TMJ Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are often referred to as TMJ. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located directly in front of the ears where the mandible (lower jaw) and maxilla (upper jaw) meet. The TMJ acts like a hinge that allows the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw. The flexible TMJ joints enable you to chew, talk, and yawn. Because of this, it is not surprising to learn that the TMJ is one of the most used joints in the body. Seattle cosmetic dentist Mark A. Caggiano successfully eliminates and treats the symptoms and causes of TMJ disorders.

TMJ DISORDER SYMPTOMS

TMJ disorders affect women and men but are more common in women. TMJ disorders are usually seen in patients between the ages of 20 and 40. Many of our TMJ disorder patients experience severe pain. The pain resulting from TMJ disorders may be present for a short time or for years. Some of the common symptoms of TMJ disorders are:

  • Headaches: this may be the most commonly experienced symptom of TMJ disorders (up to 80 percent of TMJ disorder patients experience this symptom)
  • A tired feeling in the face after talking or chewing
  • Ringing in the ears: it is unknown why this is true, but many TMJ disorder patients share this symptom
  • Limited movement of the jaws (cannot open the jaw very wide)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • A feeling of the jaws not aligning properly
  • Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw (may or may not be painful)
  • Ear pain
  • Toothaches
  • Pain felt in the neck, shoulders, jaw, face, or ear when speaking or eating
  • A jaw getting stuck in the open or closed position
  • A feeling of dizziness or unbalance
  • Hearing problems: clogged ears, muffled ears, or ears that feel full

TMJ DISORDER CAUSES

There are many possible causes of TMJ disorders, including:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching of the teeth puts a massive amount of pressure on the TMJ and can be induced by stress
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can occur in the TMJ
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Trauma to the jaw
  • The habit of gum chewing or nail biting

TMJ DISORDER CAUSES

There are many possible causes of TMJ disorders, including:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching of the teeth puts a massive amount of pressure on the TMJ and can be induced by stress
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can occur in the TMJ
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Trauma to the jaw
  • The habit of gum chewing or nail biting

TMJ DISORDER TREATMENTS

TMJ disorder patients undergo a full examination to determine which treatment plan is best for their individual needs. Many of our patients use ice and medications to help with the pain of TMJ disorder. Jaw rest and heat and ice therapy are often recommended to decrease pressure placed on the TMJ. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can be used to help with inflammation. An important component of your TMJ disorder treatment is eliminating stress. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding greatly contribute to TMJ disorders. Once these habits are eliminated, many of the painful symptoms associated with TMJ disorders improve. Lifestyle changes may be combined with splint therapy, while people who clench their jaws in their sleep may be fitted with custom-crafted night guards, similar to the mouthpieces that athletes often wear. When bite abnormalities are present, our Seattle full mouth reconstruction dentist may recommend a more extensive treatment plan.

CONTACT DR. MARK A. CAGGIANO, D.D.S. TODAY

Our caring and skilled staff are always happy to answer any questions you may have. To achieve your goal of a beautiful smile or to learn more about how you can stop the pain of TMJ disorders, please contact Dr. Mark A. Caggiano, D.D.S. today.

Contact Us

For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.

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KIRKLAND, WA OFFICE

13131 NE 85TH STREET, SUITE 201
KIRKLAND, WA 98033

(425) 307-4207

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