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TMJ Disorder and Treatment Overview

Problems with the temporomandibular joint are often referred to as TMJ disorders. If you think you may have this condition, review the following frequently asked questions to learn more about causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

How common are TMJ Disorders?

And estimated 1 in 10 people have symptoms in their jaw joint at some time in their lives. Out of these people who know or suspect that they have TMJ, only 1 in 20 will consult a doctor.

What are common symptoms of TMJ Disorders?

TMJ symptoms are mostly chronic and can include headaches, ear pain, fullness of the ear, ringing in the ear, hearing strange sounds, and dizziness. About 80 percent of patients with TMJ complain of headaches or other facial pain. Pain is often increased by opening/closing the jaw or exposure to cold weather.

Can TMJ Disorders be treated?

Yes, TMJ disorders can be treated. Initial treatments to relieve pain typically include heat or ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Slowly and occasionally opening and closing the jaw, with massages along the lower jaw will also greatly decrease pain and increase the range of motion and strength of the joint. Your dentist may also fit you with a splint – a mouth guard worn at night to help reduce jaw clenching and teeth grinding. As a last resort, surgery may be recommended.

How do you know if you have a TMJ Disorder?

A complete medical and dental evaluation is necessary to evaluate patients with suspected TMJ disorders. Be sure to visit with your dentist or physician to learn about treatment options.

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