TMJ (mouth-guard therapy, no-chew diet)
Have you noticed pain, discomfort, or restricted movement in your jaw? The joint which connects the jawbone to the skull is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, and is located on each side of the jaw. TMJ disorders are painful and can cause problems in both the jaw joint and the muscles controlling jaw movement. The cause of TMJ disorders varies from patient to patient, but can include factors such as arthritis, previous jaw injuries, genetics, and in some cases, a TMJ disorder can result from clenching or grinding of the teeth. To better understand your TMJ pain and available treatment options, come visit Douglas Anderson, MD in Utah.
Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
You may have a TMJ disorder if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms.
- Pain in one or both of the TMJ joints
- Pain in or around your ear
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of your jaw joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
- Pain while chewing
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw
- Clicking sound when chewing, or while opening and closing your mouth
To diagnose your TMJ disorder, Douglas Anderson will observe the range of motion you have in your jaw, listen and feel your jaw as you open and close your mouth, and feel for signs of tenderness and pain at different sites on the jaw.
Treatment Options for TMJ Disorders
Once a TMJ disorder has been identified, your doctor will prescribe an appropriate treatment option. Some of the most common treatments for TMJ issues include:
Mouth Guard Therapy: This is a non-drug treatment option for TMJ pain and involves patients wearing a soft or firm device inserted into the mouth over the teeth. A mouth guard can reduce clenching and grinding, relieving stress from the jaw and decreasing pain.
No-Chew Diet: Another option for patients suffering from TMJ pain is to make simple lifestyle changes that reduce overuse of the jaw muscles. This includes eating softer foods which require less chewing, cutting food into tiny pieces, avoiding sticky foods, and not chewing gum.
Are you suffering from TMJ pain? Reach out to the office of Douglas Anderson, MD in Ogden to schedule a consultation for TMJ pain and treatment options.