Whether one starts to feel clicking when moving one’s jaw, begins to have trouble opening wide enough for a burger, or experiences dreadful jaw pain, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, better known as TMJ, can wreak havoc on a normal life. “Ugh,” one might think, “between the headache and the jaw pain, I’ll be lucky to eat and sleep tonight. Forget about being productive or enjoying time with my family!”
The condition results from dysfunction of the jaw joint, and can even cause such seemingly unrelated problems as neck pain and ear congestion. The most common side effect, of course, is jaw pain. People have even ended up in the emergency room, thinking that the severe jaw pain they were experiencing was a heart attack symptom–only to have their doctor suggest that perhaps they should see a dentist and inquire about TMJ. That sort of pain, expense and inconvenience can send one scurrying to find a provider for TMJ Treatment in South Austin TX as soon as possible.
It’s easy to think of dentists as people who clean, realign and work on teeth, but have no impact on anything else in the body. That is not true. The jaw is within the purview of a dentist, and an improperly-functioning jaw can cause pain not just in the mouth, but also throughout the head and neck. With modern dentistry techniques, there are surprisingly many options available for TMJ Treatment in South Austin TX. Certain types of laser therapy can reduce pain. Occlusal adjustments can modify one’s bite to reduce stress on the jaw. Plus, night guards and other removable devices can keep one from grinding or clenching teeth in one’s sleep, which can cause or exacerbate TMJ symptoms. A dentist experienced in working with TMJ, such as Anne Lyon DDS, will be able to determine which of these treatments will work best with one’s mouth, lifestyle and budget.
Like most other health problems, TMJ will not go away if ignored. It is likely to get worse, instead. So even if the only symptoms are mild jaw pain or a spouse insisting they hear one’s teeth grinding at night, it is worth scheduling a dentist appointment and asking about it. A good dentist can cut the problem off before it significantly impacts one’s life.