Frost Family Dental

General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Waverly, OH

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ disorder, is a common problem that affects more than 10 million Americans. When left untreated, TMJ disorder can trigger migraines and jaw pain, making it difficult to bite, chew, or speak comfortably. At Frost Family Dental in Waverly, Ohio, Lisa Frost, DDS, and the team provide diagnosis and treatment for TMJ disorders. Book online to schedule an appointment, or call the office today.

TMJ Disorder Q&A

What is TMJ disorder?

Your temporomandibular joints are on either side of your face, just below the ears. They act like sliding hinges and connect your lower jaw to your skull.

TMJ disorders occur when these joints become irritated or inflamed. This causes chronic facial pain and negatively affects the muscles that control jaw movement.

Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes TMJ disorders, but it’s thought that several factors play a role, including genetics, previous injuries, or an underlying medical condition like osteoarthritis. 

If you regularly experience jaw pain, and it doesn’t respond to conservative methods of care, don’t wait to seek professional medical help.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Aching in or around your ears
  • Persistent facial pain
  • Difficulty biting and chewing

As TMJ disorder progresses, you might also experience clicking or popping sensations while opening your mouth.

How is TMJ disorder diagnosed?

To diagnose TMJ disorder, the team reviews your oral health history and asks about your symptoms. They then conduct a thorough exam. 

The team listens to your jaw when you open and close your mouth, observes your jaw’s range of motion, and gently presses on it to feel for areas of warmth, swelling, or tenderness.

If these measures don’t provide enough information, the team orders oral X-rays. Dental X-rays provide detailed images of your tooth roots, jaw, and alveolar bone. They can pinpoint fractures or other potential abnormalities causing you pain.

How is TMJ disorder treated?

Treatment of TMJ disorders depends on the intensity of your symptoms and their effects on your quality of life. Usually, the team recommends conservative treatments like rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication.

If your symptoms persist or get worse, the team might prescribe muscle relaxants or antidepressants to minimize teeth grinding. You might also benefit from a non-drug therapy like an oral splint or mouth guard or physical therapy.

Sometimes medication and therapy aren’t enough to provide relief. In this event, the team might recommend surgical intervention. There are several minimally invasive procedures designed to safely and effectively relieve pain caused by TMJ disorder.

If you regularly experience jaw pain, schedule a TMJ disorder consultation at Frost Family Dental. Book online to schedule an appointment, or call the office today.