Are you suffering from TMJ disorder or suspect that you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ?
If so, it’s natural that you have some questions about TMJ, it’s causes and treatment options.
In this post, we respond to the most common TMJ questions that we frequently hear.
These are general TMJ questions and answers. They may not apply to every patient or situation. That is why we recommend you schedule a TMJ consultation with Dr. Wilhite or with your medical doctor for answers that are specific to you.
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TMJ Frequently Asked Questions
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. (Also known as TMJ Disorder, TMJ Syndrome, and TMJ Dysfunction) The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to the skull. Dysfunction can lead to pain and discomfort in the jaw and surrounding muscles. It can also cause headaches and migraines.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ symptoms may include: headaches, pain or tenderness in your jaw, jaw clicking and popping, pain in your jaw joints, pain in or around your ears, earaches or ear pain, popping sounds in ears, pain while chewing, facial pain or aching, locking of the jaw joint, neck stiffness or aches.
Related post: What are the symptoms of TMJ?
Yes, headaches and migraines are known symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ pain can cause pain in the jaw and neck, which can radiate to the shoulders as well. Pain often occurs near the ears, and sometimes forehead and scalp. Sometimes TMJ headaches can be mistaken for tension headaches.
Related post: TMJ Headaches and Migraines
Can TMJ cause neck or back pain?
Neck pain and back pain are often included in the list of TMJ symptoms. Sometimes when you have neck pain or upper back pain and you’re not sure what is causing it, it might be caused by TMJ
Who can diagnose TMJ?
TMJ can be diagnosed by a dentist, medical doctor, an oral and maxillofacial specialist, or an otolaryngologist (also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or ENT specialist). There is no medically designated name for a TMJ specialist. There is also no specific test for diagnosing TMJ disorder. This can often cause issues with the diagnosis of TMJ.
What causes TMJ?
The cause of TMJ symptoms is not completely understood. There are multiple factors which can contribute to TMJ. It may be caused by an injury to the jaw or face, grinding of teeth during sleep, stress, anxiety, arthritis, or excessive gum chewing.
Can TMJ be caused by stress or anxiety?
Stress is considered to be a cause of TMJ. Stress can cause many physical symptoms, TMJ pain being one of them. Stress can also cause teeth clenching and grinding, which are known to cause TMJ as well. TMJ, stress, and anxiety may all cause similar symptoms, sometimes making a diagnosis challenging.
How can I treat TMJ?
There are many potential treatments to TMJ pain, from medical treatment to home remedies. Most treatment begins with the most conservative, least invasive procedures. This would include things such as stretching exercises. Other options may include using Botox injections to end TMJ pain.
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Can TMJ go away on its own?
Many people who have TMJ my only experience pain temporary and sometimes the recurring pain that may go away on its own. Some people may suffer in long-term TMJ problems.
There are home remedies you can use to relieve pain before visiting with a dentist or doctor for TMJ treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, can relieve TMJ pain and swelling. Using heat packs or ice packs on the side of your face or temple area can provide relief. Stretching exercises can help some patients. A night guard may benefit people who’s TMJ is caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep. For some patients, dental work can provide relief from TMJ.
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Do mouthguards help for TMJ?
An NTI Mouthguard created for you by your dentist can help ease TMJ pain. The mouth guard reduces the clenching force of your jaw, which minimizes the stress to your temporomandibular joint, the source of your pain.
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TMJ exercises or stretching do work for some patients at easing pain or helping build up strength in the jaw. They are a good starting point for pain relief treatments because they are simple. If exercises don’t work, then you can systematically move on to other TMJ treatment methods.
Related post: TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief
Will braces cure TMJ?
TMJ can sometimes be cured by using braces. Braces or Invisalign can correct issues with your bite or alignment of teeth, which can relieve pressure that causes TMJ, easing or eliminating your pain.
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Ready to learn more about TMJ treatment options in Plano, Texas area?
Contact us today to set up your TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience in testing, diagnosing, and treating TMJ Disorders. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.
You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.
Call us at (972) 964-3774
David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.
TMJ Disorders – The Mayo Clinic
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ) – Web MD
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome – eMedicine Health
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) – MedicineNet\
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders) – NIDCR
TMJ Headache Treatment in Plano – David Wilhite