You may be surprised to learn that a dentist is often your best bet for treating TMJ/TMD issues. It makes sense when you think about it though. After all, you use these joints whenever you chew, speak, or open and close your mouth. So, it is very much within our area of expertise! Keep reading to hear more about the symptoms and treatments around this condition and then call Dr. Martin today at 941-585-0424 to make an appointment to be checked for TMD so that we can create a TMJ treatment just for you at our Punta Gorda dentist’s office.
Know The Warning Signs
How can you tell if you have jaw joint problems? Here are some TMJ signs you should look for:
- Tender jaw joints: When you have TMJ disorder, the muscles there cannot get the rest they need. That’s why they can be tender and cause some discomfort for you. Trust us, it will only get worse until treated.
- Popping or clicking noises: Your jaw joints can get swollen and sore, so when using them to chew or just open your mouth, you might hear some popping or clicking sounds as the muscles there struggle to work as they should.
- Jaw stiffness: This problem won’t make you go from normal to lockjaw overnight. As those joints suffer, they start to get a bit stiff. You may have just a little difficulty in opening or closing your mouth. That’s a big warning sign!
- Minor facial swelling: Swollen, tender muscles tend to swell up. If you have TMJ-related problem, you might have some small swelling on one or both sides of your face. Don’t put off diagnosis or treatment!
- Bruxism (or Teeth Grinding): This is when you grind your teeth together without realizing it. This grinding happens while you are asleep, which is part of why your TMJ cannot heal naturally–they are always being used. It also wears down your enamel, creating weak spots in your teeth, which is never good.
- Pain While Eating: As the muscles in your jaw joints get damaged, it can be painful to use them. That means chewing can cause you discomfort, especially with foods that are chewy or hard. Often, the pain is so bad you won’t want to eat at all.
- Lockjaw: When the TMJ get seriously hurt, they will not work. This can leave you with your mouth stuck open or closed, and it takes a lot of effort to change that.
- Migraines: The cumulative discomfort and damage can make your muscles tense. This can cause unwanted headaches and even migraines.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should seek TMJ treatment from Smiles of Punta Gorda. Something as simple as a custom mouthguard can adjust your jaw when you sleep, giving the muscles there time to rest and heal. This can help prevent bruxism, lockjaw, and more. Call us today at 941-585-0424 or use our online form to schedule your next visit. One way or another, we’ll get you smiling big again.