In most people, the cause of tooth pain could be a cavity, gum disease, or sinus infection. But there is some dental pain that is caused by stress. A person can develop pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) if they are stressed to the point of clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth. The TMJ is the joint that pivots the lower jaw to the skull, allowing you to open and close your mouth.
TMJ disorders are a set of illnesses responsible for pain in and around the TMJ and surrounding muscles. Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth puts extra strain on the jaw muscles, causing inflammation. A person's ability to eat, chew, speak, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe can get affected by TMJ disorders.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?
- Dull ache in the jaw joint and nearby areas, including the ear
- Jaw dysfunction. pain in the neck and shoulders
- Migraine and chronic headaches
- Stiffness of the jaw muscles
- Limited jaw movement
- Irregular bite
- Ear pain and diminished hearing
- Dizziness and vision problems
- Enhanced tooth sensitivity to hot and cold sensations
How Can TMJ Disorders Be Treated?
- Pain Relievers:As a first step, your dentist may prescribe strong painkillers to relieve TMJ pain, such as ibuprofen.
- Muscle Relaxants:These drugs can help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders created by muscle spasms. You can use muscle relaxants for a few days or weeks.
- Oral Splints or Mouth Guards:They are a soft or firm device inserted over the teeth to relieve pain.
- Physical Therapy:This could include exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles and physical therapy treatments including ultrasound, hot and cold compresses.
- Counseling: Educating and counseling people can help them understand the factors and behaviors that may worsen their pain so that you can avoid them. Bad habits include teeth clenching or grinding, leaning on your chin, or biting fingernails.
- Injections: In some people, giving corticosteroid injections into the joint may be beneficial. Occasionally, injecting botulinum toxin type A (Botox, others) into the jaw muscles used for chewing may relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders.
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