Do You Have TMJ Disorder in Chandler?
Does the area below your ear hurt after chewing gum? Do you hear a clicking or grinding sound when you open and close your mouth? If so – it is possible you have what is known as TMJ disorder. This oral health condition is relatively common and affects more than 10 million Americans. Although more frequently diagnosed in women than in men, top Chandler dentist explains that people of all demographics and ages are affected.
TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joints. These hinge joints, located below your ear on either side of your skull, are what connect your top and bottom jaw. They also play a vital role in your daily life, giving you the ability to talk, chew, and yawn. When TMJs are malfunctioning, it not only results in ongoing jaw pain and other uncomfortable side effects, but you will have difficulty performing any task that involve opening and closing your mouth.
Untreated TMJ disorder can also have a negative effect on your oral health. Chandler, AZ TMJ dentist Dr. Arooni of Mark Arooni DDSdiscusses the five most common side effects of TMJ disorder to help you determine whether you may be suffering from this issue. Seeking treatment can both eliminate pain and protect your smile. To schedule an consult with our office, please call us at (480) 855-1200 or request an appointment online.
Jaw pain is one of the first symptoms of TMJ disorder, and it is often followed by muscle stiffness. The type of jaw pain associated with TMJ can be acute, chronic, or even radiate throughout the face. Some people in Chandler find that pain is exasperated when the jaw is overused; others notice a persistent dull ache that can only be eliminated with pain relievers. In the beginning stages of TMJ disorder, pain may be minimal unless the area is touched.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Muscle stiffness and tension in the jaw may eventually affect your neck and shoulders, resulting in tight shoulders, a stiff neck, and numbness in your upper extremities.
Clicking Sound or Lockjaw
Swollen and irritated TMJs can cause jaw misalignment. When this occurs, you may notice a clicking or grinding sound when opening and closing your mouth or moving your jaw side to side. Lockjaw is when the jaw cannot be opened all the way. People in Chandler with this symptom have difficulty chewing or closing their mouth completely. This symptom frequently occurs in the morning after a long night of jaw clenching, or if the jaw is taxed from chewing gum.
Because the jaw is a vital part of your daily life, it is continually in use. When inflamed and out of alignment, the jaw pain can affect your entire head and face. While you may think you are suffering from tension headaches or migraines, the source of your headache could be related to your TMJs.
A misaligned jaw and inflamed TMJs can cause you to unknowingly grind your teeth and clench your jaw. This typically occurs during the night while you sleep, or during stressful moments at work. If left untreated, it can cause the molars in the back of your mouth to wear down and crack, resulting in tooth pain.
Seeking TMJ Treatment
Dr. Arooni of Mark Arooni DDS provides a variety of TMJ treatments at our Chandler, AZ practice, including custom-fitted mouthguards, neuromuscular therapy, or lifestyle modifications. Undergoing the appropriate treatment can reduce discomfort and greatly improve your oral health. If you are suffering from any of the side effects listed above, please contact our office right away. You can reach us online or by calling (480) 855-1200.