How to Know if You Have TMJ

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Do you know where the temporomandibular joints are? They are the ones that connect the lower jaw to the skull. Under some circumstances, one of these joints can become damaged and/or inflamed. This condition is referred to as TMJ disorder. If you are concerned about this disorder, here are the signs and symptoms to look out for.

The main symptom of TMJ disorder is pain in the affected jaw joint, as well as in the neck, shoulders, face, teeth, and head. It can be difficult to diagnose, because pain in these areas can be a sign of many different health issues. You might also be experiencing difficulty chewing and speaking, and the joint does not move as well as it used to. This can progress into regular cases of lock jaw, where the mouth is stuck open or closed.

A common sign of TMJ is a change in the bite. You might begin to notice a shift in your teeth and an altered way of speaking. Though tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can occur unprompted at times, it is a common sign of TMJ.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with our TMJ doctor as soon as possible.

TMJ Treatment and Your Options

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Patients who are already in TMJ therapy can tell you it’s a tough road. TMJ has many diffuse causes and symptoms, and the map toward relief is a complicated one. Consulting our expert in TMJ treatment in Thousand Oaks can get you started on a list of treatments, with a goal of becoming pain-free without surgery or intervention.

Your first move might be to simply self-analyze. Doctors tell their patients who suspect they have TMJ to look at their recent history and decide if any undue stress exists. Often, a patient leads herself to TMJ pain simply by sitting incorrectly at her desk. Ergonomic exercises and attention to posture can be a big step.

Once carelessness is ruled out, the doctor may find depression or anxiety is to blame. Tricyclic antidepressants have a clear track record with relevant TMJ patients.

Besides pharmaceuticals, there are scads of at-home remedies you can try. These range from hot and cold compresses to self-massage and acupuncture. Ask your Thousand Oaks TMJ doctor before trying anything too unusual.

Severe cases of TMJ, in which the patient has no luck with a range of treatment, may require surgery or intervention. The latter may include oral splints or mouth guards, especially if the source is believed to be genetic jaw malformation. Surgery is almost never recommended except as a last resort.