tmj pain

Do you get headaches, unexplained ear or facial pain, or jaw clicking or popping? You may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, a treatable condition that can cause pain and other symptoms causing a sore jaw. If you suspect you have TMJ disorder, you should make an appointment with us as soon as possible to address the issue. We provide TMJ treatment to patients in the Fountain Hills and Rio Verde areas.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint.” TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw bone to your skull. Your TMJ can become injured or inflamed and can lead to a localized pain disorder that is not uncommon, called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

TMJ diagram

Common causes of TMJ syndrome include stress, teeth grinding, and excessive gum chewing. Alignment problems of how your teeth meet, your jaw, arthritis, and even poor posture can lead to TMJ syndrome.

What are the symptoms of TMJ Syndrome?

  • Jaw pain at the joint
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Toothache-like pain
  • Ear pain/Earache
  • Ringing or popping sounds in the ears (tinnitus) or a sense of fullness in the ears
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Pain at the base of the tongue
  • Pain, swelling, or a lump in the temple area
  • Tight, stiff, or sore neck or jaw muscle
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Stiff or sore jaw muscles
  • Pain in the temple area, or
  • Locking or dislocation of the jaw joint (usually after widely yawning), referred to as lockjaw.

Women have a higher likelihood than men of developing TMJ. Sufferers most commonly fall between the ages of 18-44, though others can still develop the condition. Genetics and chronic pain also play into the development of TMJ syndrome.

Schedule Your TMJ Consultation

What Are the Cures for TMJ Syndrome?

Not every instance of jaw pain is TMJ. If you experience persistent pain over a period of weeks, or if you have difficulty chewing your food, you should consult with Dr. Laskis to see if you need treatment. Seek out emergency treatment if your jaw becomes locked in the opened or closed position.

The first step in TMJ disorder treatment is the diagnosis of the condition. Dr. Laskis will ask you a series of questions designed to narrow down the problem, such as:

  • What makes your jaw pain worse? What lessens it?
  • Do you chew your nails, grind your teeth, chew on ice or perform other habits that may exacerbate TMJ?
  • How often do you chew gum?
  • Describe the pain – is it throbbing, sharp or intermittent?

Dr. Laskis will use these answers combined with a physical exam to determine whether you have TMJ. She may take an X-ray or use an ultrasound to get an image of your jaw.

We employ several methods to address lockjaw – as TMJ syndrome is also called – at our Fountain Hills office. Medical options include certain injections, oral appliance for teeth grinding, physical therapy, medications and, in severe cases, surgery.

Treatment for TMJ: Will You Need Surgery?

We try to avoid surgery for TMJ, exhausting other treatment options before exploring this one. But in some cases, surgery may be necessary. Two types of surgeries are used to treat TMJ:

  • Arthrocentesis: Uses a needle to clean out your joint using a local anesthetic
  • Arthroscopy: Treats an internal problem with the joint and requires anesthesia

Surgery may also be needed if poor alignment of your skull bone and jaw bone caused the TMJ. This maxillofacial surgery is rare and considered a last resort.

Come to Parkview Dentistry for Your TMJ Treatment

Whether you live in Fountain Hills or Rio Verde, we welcome you to our practice, where we follow the philosophy of gentle dentistry. Dr. Laskis treats every person who walks through our door like family. We talk with you to learn more about your dental history and you as a person, which helps guide our approach to your dental care.

For TMJ treatment and other procedures, we present your options and engage in discussions with you about the best approach. For TMJ, you have several avenues to choose from that we can navigate together. We won’t pressure you into making a choice. Dr. Laskis values the opinions of her patients and wants to know their preferences in all cases. We can also discuss the cost of treatment, financing options and other concerns.

Don’t live in pain any longer; contact us today for help with your TMJ syndrome.

Schedule Your TMJ Consultation

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