As many as 35 million Americans are currently struggling with untreated TMJ, which is also called TMD. This disorder causes pain in the joint that controls jaw movement, although there is so much more that is linked to TMJ. As your dentist in Maplewood, we want you to understand the TMJ treatment facts so that you will know when and how to seek treatment.
The problem is that TMJ/TMD covers a lot of different types of pain or movement issues in the jaw. It is hard to say “You have TMJ if…” and give a specific list of exact symptoms. If the area just under your ear hurts when you chew or speak, if you have experienced more earaches or migraines lately, or if your jaw has begun to lock up occasionally, then you may have TMJ. There’s also very little information on how TMJ develops, though most dentists believe it to be genetic.
Because we do not really know what causes TMJ or where it even comes from, we cannot cure it. But we can treat the symptoms. When you visit your TMJ dentist in Maplewood, we will help you find the right pain medication, therapy, relaxation techniques, surgical procedures, or other types of healthcare that can help you manage the symptoms.
If you smoke or bite your nails, you could be putting yourself at a higher risk for TMD. Both of these habits are linked to higher chances of TMD onset. Any time you are using your mouth as a tool to manipulate small things, like your nails, it causes strain to the jaw.