Similar to your general health, your dental health deserves attention, care, and review by a professional. Your dental health can be plagued with many issues throughout your lifetime, and if you’re like the majority of people, you may find yourself with a mild or severe case of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This type of disorder is characterized by issues with the jaw and the muscles and the joints that control the jaw. If you have a case of TMJ, below are the most common issues associated with the disorder and how you can prevent them from arising until you get proper attention from a dental professional.
TMJ can be caused by a number of factors, but it seems that for those who develop TMJ, one of the symptoms that stem from those factors and the disorder is facial tenderness. Tenderness will tend to arise in areas such as the neck, joint area around the jaw, and even down to the shoulders. The tenderness becomes most apparent when you try to eat or speak. To prevent facial tenderness, you should avoid eating foods that are a difficult to chew, you should limit speaking unless necessary, and you should also try to relax your jaw as much as possible.
A Locked Jaw
Another side effect of TMJ is a locked jaw. A locked jaw occurs when your jaw becomes stuck in place and is no longer mobile. This is perhaps one of the worst consequences of TMJ. Fortunately, it can be prevented by incorporating daily jaw exercises into your routine. These jaw exercises include yawning, flexing your jaw muscles, and gently massaging your jaw. These routines don’t need to take up a significant portion of your day. All you need is to do is to dedicate a few minutes to caring for your jaw.
TMJ also cause facial swelling, which not only can be uncomfortable, but also painful and embarrassing. In order to prevent facial swelling, the best thing to do is to try to keep your jaw as relaxed as possible. In addition, putting ice on your jaw throughout the day can visibly reduce the swelling and help you feel more comfortable in handling your condition. If ice doesn’t help, then you may want to schedule an appointment with your dentist sooner because the condition could be worsening.
Hearing Problems and Dizziness
Lastly, the most severe side effects of TMJ are hearing problems and dizziness. These side effects occur at the advanced stage of TMJ and are often only preventable through treatment. At the onset of experiencing these symptoms, the best thing to do is to contact your medical professional. You may be able to mitigate the side effects by exercising and relaxing your jaw, however there are no measures that you can instill that will completely prevent the symptoms from occurs. To completely treat the problem, TMJ treatment by a dental professional is the necessary step that you’ll have to take.
Teeth grinding (Bruxism) may also lead to TMJ disorders.