When your TMJ (temporomandibular joints) are functioning properly, you probably don’t even think about them. But these little joints in your jaw spring into action every time you open or close your mouth, eat, smile, laugh, or yawn. When something goes wrong, the pain is constant and impossible to dismiss. Your work, school, and overall quality of life may suffer as a result.
If you live in the Laredo, TX area and have been suffering from a painful TMJ, Davenport Dental Group has solutions to make your jaw free of pain once again. We have two locations for your convenience. Call Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695.
Do I Have TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is also known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMJ is the name of the joint itself. The indicators of TMD can vary from person to person, but if you have persistent pain centered around your jaw, neck, or head, your TMJ may very well be the culprit. Common symptoms include the following:
- Chronic aching, pain, or tenderness in the jaw or face
- A tired or haggard feeling in the face
- Jaws that lock when open or closed
- Jaws that make a clicking, grating, or popping sound when in motion (this may or may not be accompanied by pain)
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Swelling in the face
- Aching in or around the ears
- A sore neck or shoulders
You know better than anyone how you are feeling and whether you are in pain. If you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, call Davenport Dental Group today for an examination.
What Causes TMJ Pain?
TMJ pain can occur if the joint moves out of its correct alignment, is worn down, or is damaged by a traumatic injury. Risk factors include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, which can erode the joint
- Other connective tissue diseases
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which put enormous pressure on the teeth and eventually wear down the joints
- Stress — which can lead to teeth grinding or clenching
- Injury to the face or jaw
How Can Davenport Dental Help My TMJ Pain?
When you come in for your initial consultation, one of our dentists will conduct a thorough examination. If we determine that you do indeed meet the criteria for a TMJ disorder, we will discuss solutions for finally ridding you of pain.
At Davenport Dental Group, we can make you a mouthguard or splint, worn during the day or at night, designed to temporarily adjust your jaw position. It will keep pressure off the jaw joints and allow them time to heal. The appliance will be custom made to fit your mouth.
If you grind or clench your teeth — a condition called bruxism — you may be a candidate for another type of mouthguard. A bruxism mouthguard, typically worn at night, creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth so you are unable to grind them together as you sleep.
There are also steps you can take at home to ease the soreness and discomfort of TMD. Over-the-counter pain relief medications or anti-inflammatories, plus moist heat applied to the affected area, can help ease the pain.
If you believe your TMD is caused at least in part by bruxism, relaxation techniques can train you stop clenching, release tension, and take the pressure off your jaw. Also (easier said than done, we realize) eliminating sources of stress can work wonders.
Maybe your TMJ pain is something new. Or maybe you’ve lived with it for so long, you’ve come to believe it’s something you just have to learn to accept. We have good news for you. You don’t have to accept daily jaw pain. Call Davenport Dental Group today for a consultation and to learn about our life-changing TMD solutions. You may contact us by fill out our online form or by calling either one of our Laredo, TX offices. Reach our Junction Drive location at 956-242-6745 or our Winfield location at 956-517-2695. Don’t forget to schedule your next regular checkup, too.