By Total Health Dentistry
September 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ  

Concerned your symptoms could be caused by a TMJ disorder? Find out now!

Experiencing jaw pain and discomfort? Notice an uncomfortable popping sound when opening your jaw? Then it might be time to see TMJyour Pittsburgh, PA dentist Dr. Michael F. Hnat about whether TMJ could be to blame.

What is TMJ?

Also known as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, this group of conditions causes pain and other problems for the jaw joint and muscles, which in turn affects jaw movement.

What are the causes of TMJ?

There are some people who develop TMJ after direct trauma or injury to their jaw or jaw joint. TMJ disorders can also occur if the jaw disc becomes eroded or misaligned, or if arthritis has affected the cartilage surrounding the joint. Otherwise, the cause is often unknown.

What are the common risk factors for developing TMJ?

Even though the cause is usually not clear, we do find that women between the ages of 20 and 40 are more likely to develop this jaw joint and muscle disorder. But this condition also happens to men and can occur at any age.

How can my Pittsburgh dentist help my TMJ?

Many patients experience some relief from their TMJ symptoms by taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, which can reduce both discomfort and inflammation. For those who experience more severe pain, talk to your dentist in Pittsburgh about whether a prescription pain reliever might be more effective. Other medications that can help TMJ symptoms include:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Sedatives (particularly for those who clench their teeth at night)

Besides medications, there are also oral splints (or bite guards) that we may recommend wearing each night while you sleep. Those with jaw pain can often find relief from wearing these plastic oral devices overnight.

While there is no cure for TMJ, these treatments can certainly help. Of course, if you notice any change or worsening of symptoms then it’s time to talk to your Pittsburgh dentist about other treatment options. Progressive Dental Solutions is here for you.