Symptoms and Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders

Dentist Blog

Temporomandibular disorders are problems that occur with your temporomandibular joint. This joint can start becoming inflamed and experiencing pain due to a variety of reasons such as stress, physical trauma or even your gender, as women have been shown to be more predisposed to this disorder than men are. When you suffer from this, it is best to see a dentist post haste to avoid the problem being exacerbated as you continue using your jaw.  However, not many people realize they are suffering from this, as they do not know what signs to look out for. Here are some of the different symptoms of temporomandibular disorders.

Popping or clicking sounds from the temporomandibular joint

One of the common symptoms that you are suffering from temporomandibular disorders is audible clicking and popping sounds that emanate from the joint when you are either opening or closing your mouth. This will typically occur if the disk in the joint has been moved or has slipped on its own. The clicking sounds can also be accompanied with inhibition of your jaw function, causing your jaw to feel like it is getting stuck when you are talking, eating and so on.

Pain in the muscles in your face

Another symptom of temporomandibular disorders is muscular pain in various areas of your face. One of the common areas that will experience this pain is the cheeks, also known as the masseter muscles. The pain can eventually travel up to your temples, giving you the impressions that you are suffering from a terrible headache.

People who tend to clench or grind their teeth at night tend to be predisposed to temporomandibular disorders, as they are over exerting their temporomandibular joint. If you wake up every morning and feel soreness at the joint of your jaws, then it is best to visit a dentist who will not only relieve the pain but also prescribe mouth guards to limit the teeth grinding and clenching.

Treatment of these disorders

The main treatment that will be offered by your dentist is pain relief through non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, your dentist may also recommend changing your diet to softer foodstuff so as to not aggravate your temporomandibular joint further. In severe cases, you may require some form of orthodontics as well as dental restorations to remedy the damage. Major surgery is rarely opted for, as your dentist will want to give the other alternative treatment methods some time to work before opting for radical treatment.

If you suspect you may have a temporomandibular disorder, schedule and appointment with your dentist to get it checked out as soon as possible. 


16 October 2015

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.