Temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition that causes pain in the jaw muscles and jaw joint. This condition has been recorded throughout history but conclusive treatments have been devised only in the past few decades. (1)
The problem with TMJ disorder is that it can go undetected for a long time because its symptoms are not obvious. It is important to know what these symptoms are an address them in due time.
There are also a number of things that you should know about TMJ disorder before you visit a reputed orthodontist. Here is a list of the 7 most important facts about TMJ syndrome.
7 Things about TMJ Dysfunction Everyone Should Be Aware Of
1. TMJ Disorders Can Happen At Any Age
TMJ disorders arise due to a number of factors. Some of them have to do to with genetics, others have to do with stress and some occur due to accidents and injuries. (2)
Now, it is important to know potential symptoms for TMJ disorder and lookout for them. Ask your dentist about the condition to know which symptoms you might be showing.
2. TMJ Disorders Can Have Varying Pain
Unlike other dental conditions like rotted teeth, TMJ disorder will not necessarily show constant pain. This can be a very deceptive factor and can make you think the condition is healed. It is possible for TMJ disorders to resolve themselves but you should get a professional opinion to be sure.
3. Early Detection is Everything
Detecting TMJ disorders early is a good way to prevent any further damage or need for open-joint surgeries. The best way to ensure you do not get TMJ disorders is to be aware of symptoms and check for them regularly. (3)
You should be getting a periodic dental checkup anyway. So, during that session, you should ask your dentists about TMJ and report potential symptoms so that they can check for it.
4. Your Jaw Movement is Important
TMJ disorders and their impact can be reduced to a degree by getting jaw exercise. There are a number of ways to exercise your jaws and minimize the onset of damage caused by TMJ. Consult a specialist about the right kind of exercises for you. (4)
5. The Medication is Only a Stop-Gap
If the TMJ disorder has already onset, then you might experience varying degrees of pain. Accordingly, your doctor or general physician might prescribe some pain medication.
Now, it’s okay to take pain meds temporarily. But they won’t solve your problem. Be sure to get a dentist to check for TMJ disorder to know which kind of medication is best for you.
6. Treatment is the Best Way
If you find yourself exhibiting any symptoms of TMJ disorder like head and neck pain, irritability, blurry vision etc. then treatment is essential. You should seek a qualified orthodontist immediately.
They will tell you what stage your TMJ disorder is at and suggest an appropriate treatment. You should select treatments, which address this problem definitively unless the orthodontists advise otherwise.
7. Surgery is Not the End
Getting surgery for TMJ disorder is one way to address the condition. Normally, you will have some time for recovery post the operation. During this time and even after, you need to make sure that you follow the required physical exercise as prescribed.
Even after you have recovered, you should maintain a routine of exercising your jaw muscles to ensure TMJ problems don’t happen again.