Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, is caused by problems with the joint in your jaw that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It’s located about where the bottom of your ear is very close to where your earlobe connects to your face.
It’s a very active joint that you use when you’re eating, yawning, talking, or swallowing. You use it all day long, and it’s not uncommon for problems to develop. Basically, anything that interferes with the proper function of the joint can result in TMJ disorder. This could include arthritis in the joint itself or problems with the muscles and ligaments that connect the bones together.
There are several possible symptoms depending on the exact cause and severity of your case. Some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder include the following:
TMJ disorder can be very painful and interfere with many of your normal activities. It can prevent you from having a normal conversation, and it can keep you from eating some of the things you love. It can also cause life-limiting pain. So what can be done to treat this problem?
Dr. Amy Shoumer specializes in treating TMJ disorder in Bryn Mawr. She and her professional staff are committed to bringing you the highest quality dental care available, and this includes the treatment of TMJ disorder. Toward that end, they like to use the least invasive treatments first, and if that doesn’t work, they will use other methods for alleviating your symptoms.
The first approach employs relaxation techniques as well as gradual changes to your diet that includes softer foods. It’s also a good idea to stop chewing gum as that kind of repetitive motion tends to cause a flare-up of symptoms. Of course, it’s always advisable to reduce stress in your life, and this can also help with TMJ disorder.
If those don’t help address your symptoms, then you might also try applying a heat pack to your jaw. If none of these methods work, Dr. Shoumer will discuss other treatments with you. These might involve the use of a nightguard to prevent you from grinding your teeth at night, and there are medications that can help with the symptoms this painful disorder causes.
Rest assured that Dr. Shoumer and her staff won’t rest until they have helped you achieve the optimal results in the treatment of your TMJ disorder. If you think you have TMD, please contact our Bryn Mawr office today for an appointment