In the past, doctors and dentists alike do not recognize TMJ disorder. However, recent analysis and studies have shown that the joint in the jaw line can actually result to severe pain because of misaligned teeth. Although this is not the only cause of TMJ pain, the underlying conditions of the nerves and the muscles in the surrounding area may induce pain when irritated.
What Causes TMJ Pain?
There are only a few factors leading to TMJ pain disorder. The first one is dental malocclusion. In layman’s term, malocclusion is simply the misalignment of the teeth in the oral cavity. When there is a misalignment, the entire jaw is forced to have a position that is not normal.
Therefore, such abnormality in the jaw line leads to muscle and nerve irritation. This happens especially in the jaw joint right beside your ears. If that is the case, then the nerves emit a pain signal to the entire face or half of the face. Some of the most common symptoms of this condition are:
- Numbness in the cheeks
- Numbness in the lips, chin and forhead
- Pain in the cheeks (stabbing)
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
- Pulling pain in the shoulders and hips
How Do We Diagnose TMJ Disorder?
Only a dental expert or orthodontist could diagnose this condition. However, make sure that you do not have other severe symptoms which may be due to other diseases and not TMJ. It is best that you first consult a doctor of other fields before you assume that you have TMJ disorders. As you know, the symptoms of TMJ pain are very similar to the symptoms of other diseases like brain tumor, cancer, diabetes, sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
When you go to a dental expert, you will be given a dental x ray session. This way, he may see if the jaw line is indeed misaligned. There are also other instruments that will show the nerves being compressed as you move your jaw.
TMJ Pain Treatment
Initially, one can take pain relievers which are available over the counter. However, this is not a permanent solution for TMJ. If you have been diagnosed with the problem, you will be given an option to wear a dental splint. This is customized based on your jaw and teeth alignment. It is usually expensive but will give you long term relief.
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