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TMJ Disorder

Did you know that the masseter or the “lower jaw muscle,” is the single strongest muscle in the human body? That’s right: When your entire jaw is working, a single molar tooth can affect a force of up to 200 lbs. or over 90 kg. For this to happen, the entire jaw, with all its soft tissue, bones and teeth, has to be working together.

A TMJ disorder is when the temporomandibular joint – the “hinge” that connects your upper and lower jaw – stops working properly. This can manifest in a number of ways.

TMJ Disorder Symptoms

The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is a clicking or popping sound. Sometimes, this sound is accompanied by mild or strong feelings of a jaw getting “locked.” These symptoms can happen during yawning, or early in the morning after the jaw has been immobile for hours. In more severe cases, they can happen every time a patient opens their mouth. Either way, they’re typical TMJ symptoms.

The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is a clicking or popping sound. Sometimes, this sound is accompanied by mild or strong feelings of a jaw getting “locked.” These symptoms can happen during yawning or early in the morning after the jaw has been immobile for hours. In more severe cases, they can happen every time a patient opens their mouth. Either way, they’re typical TMJ symptoms.

Other symptoms include:

  • A jaw that feels like it’s moving sideways or not aligning properly
  • Tendons, muscles, neck or head experiencing pain
  • Headaches, pain and pressure behind your eyes or persistent earaches

If you or someone you know is going through these symptoms, it’s important you consult a dentist as soon as possible. This is the best way to restore the jaw and prevent long-term damage.

TMJ Disorder Treatments

The exact nature of TMJ disorder treatments depends on the specific situation. If the problem is due to soft tissue damage, a combination of muscle relaxants, temperature therapy and relaxation techniques (like massages and guided meditation) may be enough. If the bone tissue has been affected due to natural wear-and-tear or injury, surgery can be required, but this is a rarity.

Before treatment begins, it’s highly recommended you get a fresh X-ray to make it easy for your doctor to evaluate and treat your condition. Fortunately, our clinic offers digital X-rays, which are safer, faster and more accurate than the regular variety.

Do you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from TMJ disorders? Would you like to get a free quote, or consult a specialist about the symptoms? Then don’t wait; call us today at (713) 401-1776 to speak to a staff member about your next best move.

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