According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, jaw pain caused by TMJ is an oral care issue that affects up to 12 percent of Americans. It has a number of possible causes that are often related to lifestyle factors, repetitive behaviors, or heredity. If you have jaw-related problems, contact Dr. Casey Hart at his office in Marietta, GA, to learn more about TMJ and TMD treatments.
What Is TMJ and TMD?
The upper and lower jaw are connected at the sides by a flexible hinged joint that allows you to open and close your mouth, whether for talking, eating, or simply breathing. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, better known as TMD, is a disorder involving an inflammation of those connecting joints or the muscle tissue. Symptoms include:
- Popping and clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth.
- Pain on the sides of the head, near the ears.
- Chronic headaches or migraines.
- Jaw locking and resistance
Causes of TMJ Disorder
Your Marietta, GA TMJ and TMD dentist can help you identify the potential cause of your jaw pain and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Though experts aren’t a hundred percent sure of what exactly causes TMD, there are a few possible contributing factors:
- Diagnosis of an arthritic condition
- A family history of jaw pain problems
- Stress, which may cause jaw clenching
- Age (older patients are more likely to have this problem)
- A profession or recreational activity that requires shouting for long periods of time, which can aggravate the TMJs
Some patients get relief from TMJ symptoms after wearing a custom mouthpiece for a period of time, as it helps align the jaw in a more favorable position. Ice therapy will also help reduce swelling of the joints. In some cases, an orthodontic treatment may be necessary to change the position of the jawline.
Have Your Jaw Pain Addressed by a Dentist
If your TMJ and TMD jaw pain has become either more advanced or a major distraction, Dr. Casey Hart can help you at his dentist office in Marietta, GA. Call the office at (770) 926-8371 today to schedule a consultation.