Jaw Pain? It Could be TMJ.

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What is TMJ?

TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is the powerful jaw joint that acts like a sliding hinge and connects your jawbone to your skull. This forceful joint does a lot of work and in some cases, people can experience jaw pain in the jaw joint itself and the muscles that control the movement. This pain can be very prohibitive and often goes undiagnosed or mistreated. Here at Whistler Dental we are specially trained to identify and treat this type of jaw soreness which manifests in many other symptoms. If you’ve been experience jaw soreness, chronic headaches, dizziness or vertigo, or ear fullness or pain, it could be a sign of TMJ and a trip to Whistler Dental will help determine this.

How does it occur?

Often TMJ is caused by trauma to the chin or the side of the head, or whiplash. There are also more subtle causes of TMJ such as missing, broken or worn down teeth (these causes are much more common). Jaw clenching is a major culprit for TMJ, and people who clench or grind are prone to this condition. In some cases there are a range of factors that cause the TMJ. Genetics, arthritis may also make people more prone to it.

What are some effects?

There are a range of symptoms which indicate TMJ and because of this, the condition is often mis-treated or diagnosed as something else. Chronic headaches, ear aches, clicking and/ or popping jaw joints, pain when chewing, snoring, acid reflux and neck pain are all symptoms of TMJ. If left untreated sufferers often see arthritis or inflammation of the joint; this can cause pressure on the vestibular/ cochlear nerve which can lead to vertigo or tinnitus and wreak havoc on a person’s quality of life.

How is it treated and results?

Unfortunately many people who suffer from TMJ either don’t know that they have it so are treated for handfuls of other conditions, or they seek alternative treatments for the condition which simply do not work. Dentists are the only health care providers that can offer true relief and help for this due to their specialized training and treatment of the underlying cause, not just the symptoms.

Here at Whistler Dental we perform a comprehensive head and neck evaluation plus assess health history to diagnose the condition. We then can outline a treatment plan which can include surgery, wearing a night guard, relaxation techniques and more. Often there are nonsurgical ways to treat the condition. Patients treated successfully from TMJ will notice headaches ease, ringing and ear pain cease and relief of other symptoms.

Why you need to see Whistler Dental?

If you have any of the symptoms described above and have sought relief from other medical specialists and nothing has sustained, come see us at Whistler Dental. We will give you a comprehensive assessment for TMJ and if it is determined you are suffering from the condition, we will determine a treatment plan that suits you and most of all, allows you to be free of pain and suffering so your quality of life returns to optimal levels.

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