Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome causes pain in the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the mandible (which is the lower jaw) to the temporal bone (which is the skull). Since the jaw is responsible for certain muscles that aid in chewing, problems in the TMJ can cause several issues such as:
- Headaches, ear pain, or neck pain
- Pain when chewing
- Pain when biting or yawning
- Issues opening and closing the mouth
- Teeth are sensitive in the absence of dental problems
TMJ generally affects women at a higher rate than men, but studies show this could be based on how men and women handle pain. Age also seems to play a factor; women between the ages of 18-44 are at higher risk to develop this syndrome. TMJ can be caused as a byproduct of arthritis, dislocation of the jaw or other injuries that may affect this joint, or having an uneven bite. In many cases, TMJ can subside on its own, but if you are experiencing any of the issues associated with TMJ, it is important to contact Dr. Douglas Genninger. Having a proper diagnosis of this condition is essential to developing a proper treatment plan.
There are different ways to treat TMJ. Medications such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants can be prescribed when a nonsurgical procedure is not necessary. There are also non-drug therapies such as physical therapy to help strengthen the jaw muscle, counseling which can help someone understand their pain triggers and find ways to avoid them, and the use of oral splints and mouth guards which are used to protect the jaw. If these methods don’t help, surgery may also be a viable option.
Dr. Douglas Genninger will thoroughly analyze your symptoms take x-rays if necessary, assess your bite, and review your medical history in detail to make a proper diagnosis. He has over two decades of experience treating patients with jaw and conditions.Talk to US About an Appointment