If you have been having frequent issues with headaches and jaw pain, then it might be time to visit the orthodontist.
To be more specific, you should visit one of the three Orthodontic Alliances locations serving Indiana. You could be suffering from a TMJ disorder, and realigning your teeth could provide a long-term solution for your situation.
Today, you will have the opportunity to learn about TMJ troubles and how our team could help you. After you finish reading today’s post, we invite you to call 219-809-6584 for an appointment.
What Your TMJ Is
The simplest way to explain this is for you to open and close your mouth. Your temporomandibular joints are ball-and-socket joints that connect your lower jaw (the mandible) to the rest of your skill.
If you touch your face just below your ears, you can problem feel them as you move your jaw up and down. We think you would agree that these joints play an important role in helping you speak and eat.
TMJ problems can cause a variety of symptoms. These include the headaches and jaw pains that we mentioned. You also may have earaches, facial pain, and even pain in your neck, upper back, and shoulders.
You might notice that your jaw clicks or makes a popping sound when you do open and close your mouth. At other times, your jaw might feel stiff or like it gets stuck.
What Causes TMJ Problems
This can be a bit tricky. In many cases, TMJ issues can develop for a combination of reasons:
- Illnesses and infections
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Teeth alignment issues
How We Can Treat TMJ
At our office, we can address teeth grinding and alignment issues.
The first recommendation is usually something simple. Avoiding hard and crunchy foods and chewing gum for a few days can sometimes alleviate the pain. Applying heat can loosen a stiff jaw, and ice or cold packs can reduce swelling that can result from injuries.
If your symptoms persist or return in spite of your home treatment, then we’ll look at next steps.
For teeth grinders, we can create an oral appliance that you can wear at our own lab. This can prevent teeth grinding and can ease tension in your jaw muscles.
For alignment issues, we would look at orthodontic treatments. With our doctors’ expertise in this area and our variety of services, you can trust that we will work hard to find the right option for you.
Stop The Pain
Anyone who has had a TMJ disorder can tell you that it can present serious problems in your daily life. The headaches can distract you from work or make you want to avoid spending time around the people you love (at least until the pain goes away). Jaw pains can be more common during or after meals, which might mean giving up some of your favorite meals.