Chronic jaw pain, headaches, and jaw clicking are signs of TMJ issues. TMJ refers to a disorder affecting the temporomandibular joints, which are the joints connecting the lower jaw to the skull on each side of the face. TMJ can cause several problems, including a locked jaw and difficulty chewing. Dr. Greg Blome and Dr. Sara Blome-Wubbles, the experienced dentists at Blome Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE, can diagnose and treat TMJ disorder.
TMJ Causes and Symptoms
A TMJ disorder is a condition associated with irritation or misalignment of the joints on either side of the face that connect the lower jaw to the skull. When one or both joints become aggravated or move out of alignment, pain and discomfort result. A TMJ disorder is caused by arthritis in the jaw joint, an injury to the jaw, chronic stress, or frequent grinding or clenching the teeth.
A TMJ disorder is associated with several symptoms. Our knowledgeable dentists at our office in Lincoln, NE, can determine if your symptoms are indicative of TMJ and recommend a suitable treatment method. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- A locked jaw
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw area
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw joints
- Difficulty chewing
- Neck aches
- Tooth sensitivity
Treatments for TMJ
Several methods are available for treating TMJ disorder. The best course of treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and the cause of your TMJ issues. The pain and discomfort are alleviated with over-the-counter or prescription pain relief medications or by applying ice or heat to the affected area. It is also advisable to eat soft foods when experiencing TMJ issues since it's difficult to chew, open, and close the mouth.
For patients whose TMJ issues stem from chronic teeth grinding at night, wearing an oral appliance when sleeping can help. The appliance reduces the effects of grinding and clenching, which aggravate the jaw joints. In some cases, surgery might be the best treatment option. Surgery corrects misalignment of the temporomandibular joints and can repair a dislocated jaw.
If you are experiencing TMJ issues, help is available. Dr. Greg Blome or Dr. Sara Blome-Wubbles can discuss different options for treating your TMJ symptoms. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists, call Blome Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE, at (402) 483-7000.