Are you suffering from jaw pain?
Dr. Michael Wright, Dr. Treva Willis and Dr. Maria Wright in Bethesda, MD, know just what to do!
The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects to your lower jaw and to the skull in front of the ear. There are some facial muscles that control chewing also attached to your lower jaw.
Temporomandibular joint syndrome is a disorder accompanied by consistent pain in the area near your ear, jaw or muscles on the side of your face. You may suffer from a clicking or popping sound, and/or restricted jaw movement.
Causes of TMJ
The TMJ is subject to various issues, such as:
- Sore muscles
- Strained tendons
- Disk problems
- Physical and psychological stress
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ
- Clicking Sounds — If you're suffering from TMJ, you may hear a clicking, popping sound coming from the TMJ when you open or close your mouth. This is usually caused by a shifting of the disk inside the joint. The clicking may be so loud, someone standing next to you may hear it.
- Muscle Pain — You may feel pain in your cheeks, where the pairs of jaw-closing muscles are located. If you feel soreness and stiffness upon waking up in the morning, it may be related to clenching and/or grinding the teeth at night. A nightguard may help relieve that pressure, but be sure to speak with your Bethesda doctor.
- Joint Pain — Pain usually comes from one or both jaw joints and would be considered arthritis.
Relieving the Pain
Once your doctors have examined you, they can start designing a treatment plan. Here are some ways they may improve your diet or lifestyle:
- A softer diet to reduce stress on the muscles and joints.
- Ice and/or moist heat to relieve soreness and inflammation.
- Gentle stretching exercises to avoid muscle spasms.
- Medications and muscle relaxants for pain relief.
For more information, contact Drs. Michael Wright, Treva Willis, and Maria Wright in Bethesda, MD, today!