Getting Dentist’s Help in TMJ

There are many people who might have heard about TMJ or TMD, also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder; but a very few would know what it really is. If you have this problem, the best person you can get help from is your dentist.

What is TMD/TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint is basically a hinge whose job is to provide connection between jaw and temporal bones of skull. With the help of this hinge, you can move your jaw upward and downward as well as sideways. Hence, this very connection helps you in using your jaw for eating, chewing, talking, and a lot of other oral functions. If you want to know the exact location of this hinge, you can place your finger right next to your ear. Then you need to make a jaw movement. The area you are placing your finger at will start to show the movement like hinge. This is what we call Temporomandibular joint. When you experience any problem in this area, the problem or condition is better known as Temporomandibular joint Disorder, or TMJ.

The symptoms
Bad news is that symptoms of TMJ are not very easily detectable. Most of the people confuse this pain with sinus issue or a headache. However, you will have to keep in mind that if the pain in facial area or the area around teeth, you immediately need to visit your dentist or doctor in order to know about the exact reason of pain you have.

Having that said, there are a few symptoms you can focus in order to if the pain you are having is actually TMJ.
  • Pain in face or joint of jaw while eating, chewing, talking, and even during minor jaw movement can indicate towards a TMJ problem.
  • Difficulty in wide opening your mouth is another indication. If you feel like something getting stuck in the jaw and making the mouth opening or closing difficult, you may be having TMJ problem.
  • Sounds of clicking, grinding or popping also show that the problem might be a TMJ disorder.
  • Problems like headaches, dizziness, toothaches and pain in the neck are also the common symptoms of TMJ.
Getting TMJ diagnosed
TMJ is just like other dental conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health issues. Hence, you shouldn’t be careless about this issue in any way. When you face this pain, the immediate thing you should be considering is to go for the dental visit. Since this problem is pretty much related to the bones and joints, the examination process usually begins with a dental or conventional x-rays test. Based on this early diagnosis, dentist would suggest further course of action.