Your temporomandibular joints are located at the back of your jaw and connects your lower jaw bone to your skull. A sliding joint, the TMJ is critical for speaking, chewing, and yawning.
Like all joints, your TMJ is a network of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, and other connective tissues. If a problem arises with any of these components, serious discomfort can result.
It isn’t always easy to determine the exact cause of temporomandibular joint disorder. Multiple factors can lead to the condition, including:
Even something as simple as a habit of holding your phone between your jaw and shoulder or resting your jaw in your hands at your desk can place strain on your TMJ.
Jaw pain is the primary symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder. The pain can be steady and severe or mild and intermittent. You might notice your pain subsiding or worsening when you change certain habits.
Some additional symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
If you notice any of these changes, call Dr. Lebovics to schedule a diagnostic exam.
If Dr. Lebovics determines you have TMJ disorder, there are treatments that can help. The first step is to review your habits to see if certain behaviors are contributing to your symptoms. Sometimes making simple changes can go a long way toward easing your symptoms.
Giving your jaw time to heal can also be helpful for mild cases of TMJ disorder. Try to eat soft foods for a period of time, and use hot or cold packs to ease discomfort or swelling. Over-the-counter pain medications can help with discomfort.
A customized night guard is a great way to treat TMJ disorder. Dr. Lebovics can create a removable device that fits closely over the surface of your teeth to prevent you from grinding them during the night. This relieves tension in the jaw, which can relax tight muscles and ease symptoms.
If you’d like more information about TMJ disorder, call the office to set up a visit. Online booking is also an option and can be done from home any time of day or night.