By Vibrant Smiles Dental
July 25, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj   jaw stiffness  

Wondering if your jaw problems could be the result of TMJ disorder?jaw stiffness

You wake up with the same symptoms more days than not: stiff, sore jaws, and a dull throbbing headache. What could be going on? While there could be many things causing these symptoms, most of the time our Waldorf, MD, dentist discovers that this is being caused by TMJ disorder.

What is TMJ disorder?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and this joint is what connects the jawbone to the base of the skull. This little joint is so very important for chewing, speaking and even yawning. These joints work hard day in and day out for you, so if you are noticing pain there may be an imbalance or dysfunction within the jaws that are causing your symptoms.

How do I know that I have a TMJ disorder?

If you have TMJ disorder then you may be experiencing these symptoms:

  • Jaw pain
  • Stiffness or sore, tired jaws
  • Facial pain
  • Earache
  • Headaches (particularly in the morning)
  • A popping or clicking sound in the jaws
  • Pain that radiates to the neck or shoulders

What causes TMJ disorder?

More often than not, the cause of this condition is unknown. Of course, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of developing this condition including:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Jaw joint injury or trauma
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Uneven or misaligned bite

How is TMJ disorder treated?

When you visit our Waldorf general dentist you may be relieved to discover that this condition can easily be managed. Most of the time this problem will go away on its own; however, there are certain things you can do to make sure that your symptoms are under control including:

  • Eating a soft food diet and cutting food into small pieces
  • Performing stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Avoiding chewing gum
  • Preventing teeth clenching
  • Wearing a custom mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding

Don’t let TMJ disorder ruin your day. Jaw pain isn’t a joke. Call Vibrant Smiles Dental in Waldorf, MD, today to figure out the best ways to manage your TMJ-related symptoms.