If you’ve ever had pain or clicking in the joint where the jaw meets the side of your skull, you may be experiencing symptoms related to TMJ disorder. The TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint, is important for anything involving the use of the mouth. Speaking, singing, chewing, eating, even whistling all require that this important joint come into play. As a result, TMJ conditions can be extremely painful and limiting to those experiencing them. Dr. Piazza helps patients in the Naperville, IN area relieve the pain and discomfort of TMJ and get back to enjoying their life.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
Connecting your skull to your jawbone, the TMJ is a sliding hinge that exists on both sides of your jaw. The causes of TMJ disorder may vary, but the symptoms are similar in every case. The jaw will be tender or painful in one or both joints. The area in and around your ear can ache, and it can be difficult to chew. The joint may click or lock when you move it, and it can become difficult to close or open your mouth as a result. Patients with TMJ often experience a grating or clicking sensation in the joint. Patients who experience this but aren’t experiencing pain associated with it likely don’t need treatment, but should consult their dentist to be sure.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
The most common cause of TMJ is wear and tear caused by aging, though those with a family history of the disorder are more likely to experience it earlier than others. There is a disc located in the joint that can come out of place or be broken or damaged. The cartilage that coats the joint can also degrade from arthritis resulting in pain. For many patients, the exact causes are unknown, but the symptoms persist.
How Is TMJ Disorder Treated?
Dr. Piazza uses a variety of approaches to treat patients who report concerns with TMJ Disorder. In mild cases, patients will be prescribed over-the-counter NSAIDs and Pain relievers, or they may be given a prescription for Tricyclic antidepressants that have been shown to ease sleeplessness and control bruxism. Muscle relaxers are also occasionally effective at treating this condition. There are also non-drug therapies that are used for the condition, including physical therapy and oral appliances such as night guards. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the condition and relieve the symptoms associated with TMJ.
Call our office today if you’ve been experiencing symptoms associated with TMJ and schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas Piazza to seek treatment. During your dental exam, you will receive imaging to help diagnose the cause of your TMJ symptoms and what Dr. Piazza can do to address them. You can reach out to us at 630-357-6400 or drop by our offices at 10 W. Martin Avenue, Ste. 116
Naperville IL 60540 to schedule an appointment. Early treatment of TMJ can help prevent it from getting worse and requiring more serious forms of treatment, so call today!