Recognizing the Signs of a TMJ Disorder

Recognizing the Signs of a TMJ Disorder

The upper and lower jaw are connected by a sliding hinge joint called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Like other joints in the body, the TMJ can become damaged and degenerate over time due to trauma, wear-and-tear, and dental problems like bruxism. In addition to pain and soreness in the jaw and face, TMJ can cause the jaw to lock in place when opening or closing the mouth.

If you’re experiencing symptoms or have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, we can help. Our team of general dentists and dental specialists offers a range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Located in The Woodlands, Texas, Scott Young, DDS, serves all of the greater Houston region, including the areas of Highland Village, West University, River Oaks, Rice Village, and Memorial.

The signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder

TMJ disorder causes pain and stiffness of the jaw and can affect just one or both joints. Along with joint pain and stiffness, other signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

The severity and range of symptoms may vary depending on the underlying cause and whether you have joint damage. If you’re experiencing joint stiffness and pain or new symptoms that last for more than a few days, make an appointment for a dental exam as soon as possible.

Causes and risk factors for TMJ disorder

Trauma to the TMJ and conditions like bruxism (teeth grinding) can put you at risk for developing a TMJ disorder, but it’s also possible to develop a TMJ disorder without a clear underlying cause. Like other joints, the TMJ is also susceptible to arthritis, so you may have a higher risk of developing it if you have arthritis anywhere in your body. A misaligned joint can also cause a TMJ disorder. 

How are TMJ disorders treated?

The first step in relieving the pain and other symptoms associated with a TMJ disorder is to identify the underlying cause. If your TMJ disorder is caused by bruxism, for example, our team may recommend wearing a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. 

Physical therapy, stress management, and medication may also help manage TMJ disorder symptoms.

For more information about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for TMJ disorders, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in The Woodlands, Texas.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Conditions Require Oral Surgery?

Many dental problems can be treated conservatively, but in some cases, oral surgery is the best solution to improve and protect your oral health. Here are a few common examples of when you might need oral surgery.

Here's How to Take Care of Your New Crown

With proper care and attention, dental crowns can last for years. Here’s what you need to know about how to care for and maintain your new dental crown. Read on to learn more.

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

Sleep apnea can increase the risk factors for many significant health problems. Here’s what you need to know about the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and how it affects health and well-being.

Why You Shouldn't Delay Your Dental Treatment

From skipping routine dental exams to putting off replacing a broken crown or dental filling, delaying dental treatment can cost you time, money, and put your oral health at risk. Here’s what can happen when you delay your dental treatment.