man in pain

What is Temporomandibular Joint Pain and What You Can do About it?

Dental diseases are relatively common among the American population. Some of the most common are cavities and gum disease. These common dental diseases can lead to more severe problems, such as tooth loss, if they are not properly treated.

Cavities are caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Cavities can cause tiny holes in the teeth and eventually will lead to tooth decay. However, a dentist can fill cavities, so you don’t have to worry about them causing too much damage if caught early enough.

Gum disease is another common dental disease. It is caused when plaque builds up around the gum line. If left untreated, the gums can become infected and even lead to tooth loss. Gum disease can be prevented through proper brushing and flossing daily and regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and exams.

Aside from these common dental diseases, some are rare and stand out among the rest. For example, something like Hypodontia can cause your teeth to develop abnormally. This disease can result in gaps between your teeth or crowded areas. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of rare dental diseases to know how they can affect you and your oral health.

However, one of the rarest and most painful dental diseases is Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ).

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a joint disorder that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This joint is responsible for all the movement in your jaw, so when it isn’t working properly, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

There are many different causes of TMJ, but the most common is bruxism (teeth grinding). This can be caused by stress or an uneven bite. It can also be caused by injury to the jaw or arthritis.

TMJ can cause a lot of different symptoms. The most common are headaches, ear pain, and pain in the jaw itself. You may also experience clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw and difficulty chewing or opening your mouth.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see your dentist right away. They will be able to diagnose the problem and give you a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms and get your jaw functioning correctly again.

Unfortunately, TMJ can be comorbid with other diseases like arthritis.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common inflammatory disease that can cause pain and stiffness. It is caused when the cartilage between the bones breaks down, causing the bones to rub against each other. Arthritis can lead to swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area.

There are many different types of arthritis, but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is more common in older adults, while rheumatoid arthritis can affect people.

TMJ can be very painful, but when it is comorbid with arthritis, it can make everyday tasks very difficult. Even opening your mouth to eat or brush your teeth can be excruciating.

TMJ can also be comorbid to a more deadly disease such as cervical spine dysfunction.

Cervical Spine Dysfunction

Cervical spine dysfunction, also known as “cervical spondylosis” is a condition that affects the joints in your neck and can cause pain, stiffness, and even loss of mobility.

Like TMJ, cervical spondylosis is caused by a combination of factors, including age, injury/trauma to the area, poor posture, and degenerative disc disease. In some cases, it can be comorbid with other conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis, it is essential to seek treatment from your doctor right away. They will be able to help relieve your pain and get you back to feeling like yourself again.

A mouth guard made by an orthodontist

Treating TMJ

Thankfully, there are various ways people can treat TMJ and avoid its comorbid diseases altogether. The first step in treating TMJ is by visiting your dentist.

Dental Treatment

Your dentist will be able to identify the root cause of your TMJ, which could be due to bruxism or an uneven bite. They can then work with you on a treatment plan to relieve your pain and get your jaw functioning properly again.

Some treatments include using a mouth guard while sleeping to prevent teeth grinding, taking anti-inflammatory medications, or undergoing physical therapy. One of the best treatments is getting veneers. People who get this dental accessory are less likely to experience the pain of TMJ.

If these treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may also be recommended last resort.

Regardless of how you choose to treat your TMJ, it is important that you seek treatment right away in order to avoid further complications. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy pain-free living and keep your oral health in top shape!

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