When people feel pain in their jaw, their first reaction is usually to think that there’s something wrong with their teeth. The source of the pain, however, could actually be their jaw joint, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Over 12 percent of Americans suffer from TMJ disorder, and dentists in Greenville, SC would be able to help relieve it if you are suffering from it. In an article for Mother Earth News, health expert Kathleen Jade describes some of the causes of TMJ disorders:
TMJ disorders can be influenced by multiple factors, including traumatic injuries, hormonal influences, and overuse and/or improper use of the muscles of mastication (chewing). Clenching of the teeth (bruxism) is often a leading cause of TMJ muscle pain, although many people are not aware that they have this habit. Women are more likely than men to suffer from TMJ symptoms, and these disorders are most likely to occur in people 20 to 40 years old.
It is the clenching and grinding of teeth that a reliable Greenville family dental clinic like Downtown Dental would be able to help you with. People can usually control the grinding and clenching of their teeth while they are awake, but may be unable to do so when asleep at night.
This is where your dentist comes in. He can create mouth guards that you can wear to keep you from grinding your teeth. To do this, he’ll take your mouth’s measurements and use them to craft a mouth guard that’s tailor-made for you. Once you’ve got one, you’re advised to go to sleep wearing it.
While it may be the most popular option, there are other treatments that are available to you and can be used in conjunction with your mouth guard. If the pain persists, pain medication like ibuprofen and codeine has often been prescribed to TMJ disorder sufferers. For extreme pain, muscle relaxants and antidepressants can also be prescribed.
Steroid injections are also a possible treatment. If the cause of the TMJ disorder was arthritis, then a steroidal injection to the jaw can help reduce the swelling and the pain in your jaw. This can last for a few to several months, though there have been reports of the pain being resolved immediately.
With several treatment options available, there’s no need to worry about your pained jaw. Just drop by a skilled local dentist to help you treat your condition.
(Source: 7 Natural Treatments for TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Symptoms, Mother Earth News, April 18, 2014)