You might have great looking teeth and excellent oral health, but if you hear a clicking sound in your jaw every time you chew, you may have TMJ issues. TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. If you have pain in and around your ear, especially when you move your jaw to chew, chances are you’re having TMJ issues and you are a candidate for Hattiesburg tmj therapy.
Some people have such severe problems that their jaw locks at the joint and causes pain. Other people find that the pain is so bad they can’t even open or close their mouth completely. Fortunately, TMJ issues can be treated without surgery, for the most part. But if your pain is severe and chewing or even opening your mouth to talk is causing pain, then surgery may be the only option.
What causes TMJ pain? There is no definitive answer to that question. If you’ve been hit in the face and your jaw is knocked out of proper alignment, that could cause TMJ pain. People who have lost cartilage in the joint or they have a disk that is eroded away in that area may experience symptoms of TMJ. Arthritis can be a contributing factor too. Whatever the cause, finding the right Hattiesburg tmj therapy is our top priority.
Physical therapy that includes ice and moist heat is sometimes effective in helping to ease the pain. Stretching exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles may also be beneficial. Dental bite guards may give you relief from TMJ jawbone pain. Wearing a soft bite guard over your teeth to help stop any teeth grinding may be all that’s necessary to stop the pain. Even though it’s not completely clear why oral splints (bite guards) work, it’s one of the most common and effective treatments to be given.
Finding the Hattiesburg tmj therapy that works for you is what we will do in the Hattiesburg dental office of Dr. Tod A. Bigelow. If you’d like to know what we can do to help ease the pain and remedy the situation, give Smiles by Bigelow a call at 601-582-1623 and make an appointment to see Dr. Bigelow.