Sore Jaws? You Could Have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your skull and jawbone together, acting as a hinge that allows you to speak, eat, and perform other everyday functions. TMJ symptoms in North Little Rock, AR can cause significant pain and anxiety, not to mention interfere with your jaw functioning, sleep, and mood.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ disorder is sometimes challenging to pinpoint because its symptoms can mimic other health conditions. We encourage you to schedule an appointment at Mounts Dental Care right away if you notice one or more of these symptoms:

  • Ear pain without the presence of an infection
  • Feeling depressed or anxious for no discernable reason
  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain when chewing food
  • Pain in the temporomandibular joints in your jaw, which can include involuntary locking of one or both joints
  • Persistent facial pain that feels like a dull ache
  • Tenderness and pain in your jaw
  • Waking up without feeling rested several times a week

You may also notice a clicking sound when you open and close your jaw. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need treatment for TMJ disorder if it is your only symptom.

Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ Disorders in North Little Rock, AR

When you arrive at Mounts Dental Care for your appointment, Dr. Mounts or Dr. Pearson will ask you to open and close your mouth and observe how your jaw behaves. Your dentist may also place his hands on the jawbone to help determine whether TMJ disorder is the problem. You will then need diagnostic imaging to determine the cause of your TMJ pain.

The most conservative course of treatment for TMJ disorder is taking prescription medication for pain relief. Muscle relaxants can also help, as can wearing a mouthguard at night or completing physical therapy. It is only when these types of methods fail that your dentist might recommend corrective surgery.

Please contact our dental practice for an evaluation if you feel you have TMJ symptoms.

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