Jaw Pain? See your TMJ Dentist in Owings Mills

For most people, opening and closing their mouths is a simple movement that is easily taken for granted. However, the movement is more complex that you might think and if the joints in action malfunction or become injured, then the consequences can be quite painful. Your temporomandibular joints—TMJ—are the ones that allow you to move your lower jaw open and shut and side-to-side. If you routinely feel discomfort when this jaw moves, then you may be experiencing TMJ disorder. Fortunately, there is treatment. Your Owings Mills TMJ dentist Dr. Monica Mattson offers effective treatment, so you can eliminate pain and other symptoms of this debilitating condition.

Why Do I Have TMJ?

Pinpointing the reason for TMJ is often difficult. For some patients, TMJ begins with bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. The terms TMJ and bruxism are often used interchangeably because people mistakenly believe they are one and the same. In truth, they are two distinct conditions, but one can impact the other. However, it is possible to have TMJ and not grind and clench your teeth and visa-versa.

Other causes of TMJ include a hard blow to the face that damages the joint, arthritis in the joint and stress.

The Signs and Symptoms of TMJ

The most common symptom indicating the possibility of TMJ is pain when you open or close your mouth to eat, speak, smile, laugh or yawn. Other symptoms are:

  • Hearing a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth
  • Feeling as if your jaw is locked in one position
  • Facial swelling near the TMJ joint
  • Headaches or earaches
  • Tooth sensitivity without signs of worn enamel or decay
  • Weakened facial muscles

Diagnosing TMJ

If you are experiencing any of the above listed symptoms, then schedule an appointment with 21117 dentist Dr. Mattson. She will completely examine your mouth and teeth. She will also check for areas of pain and sensitivity by palpating your temporomandibular joints, and your jaw and neck. She’ll also assess your bite, which can become misaligned because of TMJ. Digital x-rays may also be advised if Dr. Mattson needs to see inner-workings of your TMJ and jaw.

Treating TMJ in Owings Mills

If the diagnosis is that you have TMJ disorder, then there are several different treatment options. A mouthguard can be used at night if bruxism is evidenced by teeth that are worn. This comfortable oral appliance prevents your upper and lower teeth from touching and reduces jaw pressure that bruxism causes. Other treatments include stress-reducing activities such as yoga and meditation, a soft foods diet and ibuprofen to reduce pain and swellin

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