Unfortunately, dental injuries are often a hazard for children and adults who play sports. While their equipment, which includes mouth guards, can help prevent some injuries, they cannot prevent all of them. An injury to the jaw can result in damage to the temporomandibular joint, which is more commonly known as TMJ.
What Is TMJ Syndrome?
This syndrome occurs when there has been a trauma to the jawbone, but it can be caused by many other problems as well. Excessive gum chewing, stress and anxiety, arthritis or teeth grinding can all result in TMJ. If you have pain in your jaw, it is important to know the symptoms of this syndrome so we, at Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, can treat you for TMJ in Farmington Hills if necessary.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
The most common symptom is pain around the jaw joint and ear. You may even hear a popping or clicking sound when you move your jaw. Another common symptom is pain in the ear or cracking of the ears if you have the syndrome. Blurred vision, headaches, shoulder pain and a tight or stiff neck or jaw are some of the other symptoms you may experience.
Treatments for TMJ
If you have any of the symptoms, you need to call our offices as soon as possible so you can be treated for this issue. This can result in a serious condition if left untreated and could cause your jaw to lock up, which can be quite painful.
You can try treating the syndrome at home when you experience pain around your ears or jaw by eating soft foods, stop chewing gum, massage the jaw area, applying hot or cold compresses and taking over-the-counter pain medications. However, if those treatments are ineffective, you need to call us for an appointment.
Some of the ways we can treat this problem at Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry include using a dental splint or bite guard to keep your teeth aligned and prevent grinding. We will have a jaw specialist fit you with a splint if this treatment is appropriate for your situation. If not, we may have you go to physical therapy to strengthen the jaw muscles and improve the jaw’s flexibility.
If your symptoms are severe, then surgery on the jaw or dental surgery may be an option to help us treat the syndrome. Surgery is always considered a last resort, but we will recommend it if it is necessary to help reduce the symptoms or relieve them. In addition, prescription pain killers or steroids may be used to treat this condition as well.
Whether it is from trauma or due to another medical condition, our practice can help relieve symptoms of TMJ and so you can recover quickly.