Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition that occurs when your jaw joint falls out of alignment. Due to the complexity of your jaw joint, the painful symptoms associated with TMJ often appear all over your body. This can make diagnosing your condition very challenging. After all, how many people would expect that their back pain is actually caused by an issue with their jaw?
Learning to Recognize TMJ Symptoms
If you suffer from TMJ, you may potentially experience a diverse array of symptoms. This is largely due to the fact that your jaw joint is interconnected with several important musculoskeletal systems in your body.
If you’ve visited numerous medical specialists without any success in diagnosing your condition, it may be time to visit your dentist. If your symptoms are caused by TMJ, then you’ll need to restore your jaw joint to its proper resting position.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of TMJ are also commonly associated with other unrelated conditions. This further complicates the diagnostic process. As a result, it’s crucial that you learn to recognize the many warning signs that you may suffer from TMJ.
How Do I know if I have TMJ?
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, it may be a sign that you suffer from TMJ:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping sound in the jaw
- Locking of the jaw joint
- Limited jaw mobility
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Ear aches
- Balance issues
- Uneven bite
- Facial pain
- Migraine headaches
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Facial swelling
- Numbness in the fingers and arms
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
Dr. Firouzian can Help
Your TMJ treatment plan will be carried out in two phases. During the first phase, Dr. Firouzian will help alleviate your painful symptoms. This can be accomplished using TENS therapy, an electrical massage that relaxes the muscles in your face and jaw. In some instances, Dr. Firouzian may also prescribe NSAID medications such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and minimize pain.
Once your pain is under control, Dr. Firouzian will move to the second phase of your treatment, which seeks to restore your jaw to its proper alignment. Depending on the unique nature of your condition, Dr. Firouzian may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Mouth guard to be worn while you are sleeping
- Neuromuscular orthotic device
- Restorative dental treatments
- Orthodontic treatments
Please contact the Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule a TMJ evaluation. Dr. Firouzian serves patients in Columbus, Ohio.