Temporoalmandibular Joint Disorder De-Mystified

Clicking and cracking and popping. Aches and pains and discomforts.
They can be a normal part of life or they may signal a more serious problem.

You may have heard of TMJ – Temporoalmandibular Joint Disorder – you may even suffer from it or know someone who does. It’s a common condition suffered by over 10 million Americans, caused by the improper alignment of the jaw. It results in jaw pain and other discomforts.

The jaw is comprised of specialized joints which are responsible for ease of movement and strength. These joints are needed to eat, talk, yawn and open and close your mouth. Although TMJ is common, it can make simple jaw movements painful and annoying.
• For some, TMJ is temporary and its symptoms resolve on their own or with some DIY care.
• For others, TMJ can cause chronic pain and needs to be addressed professionally.

In addition to jaw stiffness and pain, you may be dizzy, have headaches, neck and shoulder pain, eye discomfort, ringing in your ears and other types of pain and numbness in your face and jaw. Sometimes TMJ manifests itself in the hands and the back. In the most extreme cases, people with TMJ can barely move their jaw.

But even in combination, these symptoms may not mean you have TMJ.
At Morris County Dental, Dr. Goldberg will consult with you, evaluate your symptoms and suggest the best treatment options for you.

Whether you have a lot of pain or just a bit of cracking, you can try these DIY treatments for your TMJ:
• Perform relaxation exercises to help eliminate jaw clenching
• Avoid hard-to-chew or crunchy foods
• Stretch your jaw, neck and shoulders often
• Apply heat or cold packs

When simple DIY measures don’t make a difference in your TMJ symptoms, Dr. Goldberg may suggest wearing a mouth guard at night to stop teeth grinding (bruxism) or he may prescribe anti-inflammatory painkillers or stronger, prescription medications, if needed.

To learn more, call to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Goldberg: 973-328-1225.

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