OASIS DENTAL MILTON: jaw soreness may point to other serious conditions
CONTACT: Dr. Rick Anil Soordhar
TEL: (905) 876-2747
FAX: (905) 876-2749
MILTON, ON – Chronic temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can present certain diagnostic challenges, as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can have several root causes. This reality gives OASIS DENTAL MILTON’s family of dental professionals all the more reason to urge TMD sufferers to schedule immediate diagnostic appointments.
Direct injuries to the jaw, directly to the TMJ or the muscles of the neck and head, including motor vehicle accidents (MVA), heavy blows or whiplash, can all cause severe TMD. However, telltale symptoms can arise from arthritis in the TMJ, grinding or clenching teeth, disc or soft cushion movement within the joint’s ball and socket, or frequent stress-induced tightening of the jaw and facial muscles. Obvious warning signs of TMD can last anywhere from days to years on end and may include:
– PAIN OR TENDERNESS IN THE FACE, TMJ, NECK AND SHOULDERS AND IN OR AROUND THE EAR WHEN CHEWING, SPEAKING, OR WIDELY OPENING THE MOUTH
– DIFFICULTY OPENING THE MOUTH WIDE
– JAWS ROUTINELY STICKING OR LOCKING IN OPEN OR CLOSED POSITIONS
– CLICKING, POPPING OR GRATING SOUNDS THAT ACCOMPANY OPENING OR CLOSING YOUR MOUTH OR CHEWING (WITH OR WITHOUT PAIN)
– FATIGUED FACIAL MUSCLES
– DIFFICULTY CHEWING OR A SUDDENLY UNCOMFORTABLE GENERAL BITE
– SWELLING ON ONE SIDE OF YOUR FACE
– FREQUENT TOOTH, EAR, HEAD, UPPER SHOULDER OR NECK ACHES, POSSIBLY ACCOMPANIED BY DIZZINESS AND/OR HEARING ISSUES
– RINGING IN THE EARS (TINNITUS)
TMD presents with sensations ranging from moderate discomfort to severe pain. Your dentist can take full facial X-rays to determine whether symptoms stem from TMD or other potential issues that present similar symptoms, such as sinus problems, arthritis, gum disease, or tooth decay. Additionally, an MRI or CT scan may detect an improperly positioned TMJ disc early enough to initiate treatment before symptoms and joint damage worsen.
A TMD diagnosis may hint toward additional severe medical complications. TMJ issues frequently coexist with conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome, ongoing sleep disturbances, and fibromyalgia, a debilitatingly painful disorder that weakens a body’s muscles and other soft tissue. Being aware of TMD can lead to further conversations with trusted physicians about awareness of and vigilance for these potential additional issues.
As for alleviating the TMD itself, your dentist could suggest several treatments individually or in combination. Simpler at-home approaches including a routine of gentle stretching, limiting diet to softer foods, stress reduction techniques and routinely wearing therapeutic splints or other appliances have frequently treated very mild cases of TMD with notable success. For moderate TMD sufferers, noninvasive treatments such ultrasonic therapies, nerve stimulation, trigger-point injections and low-level laser procedures have helped patients avoid surgery when light at-home remedies can’t alleviate symptoms. In the most severe instances, only surgery or even permanent implants may reduce or cure TMJ pain in the longer term.
For more information about TMD causes, symptoms and treatment options, contact Oasis Dental Milton today to schedule an informative consultation.
Dr. Anil Rick Soordhar has completed a residency program in TMD and Craniofacial pain through the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. He has obtained his:
– Diplomate status with the American Board of Craniofacial Pain (only 9 dentist in Canada)
– Distinguished Fellow status with the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (only 18 dentist in Canada)
– Fellowship with the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (only 25 dentist in Canada)
Dr. Sunil Vick Soordhar has completed a residency program in TMD and Craniofacial pain through the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. He has obtained his:
– Fellowship with the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (only 25 dentist in Canada),