Symptoms of TMJ and How to Fix It


An estimated 35 million people in America have Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), and 95% of those are women. If you have pain in your jaw, particularly in one or both of temporomandibular joints–the joints that function as a hinge on the side of your face, connecting your jaw to your skull–you might be one of them.

TMJ also leads some people to seek out chronic facial pain treatment, or chronic headache treatment. It can make chewing very difficult or painful. It can cause aches in and around the ear, even when you’re not chewing, or you may hear a clicking or grating sound whenever you open your mouth. In extreme cases, the joint may even lock, making it hard to open and close your mouth at all.

TMJ can cause constant headaches and difficulty in sleeping because of the discomfort. In fact, issues with the temoromandibular joint is linked to obstructive sleep apnea, since those with the latter are 73% more likely to have symptoms of the former.

Some people find that their smile is less natural or easy because of their TMJ, and since 74% of adults surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry said a bad smile could hurt them professionally, that alone is reason to seek out help.

How do you fix or improve these symptoms? Getting a dental crown or dental bridge is one possible fix for facial pain management. This is true in part because worn teeth are sometimes the catalyst for TMJ. A dental bridge can go over gaps that are left by missing teeth, correcting the movement and shape of the jaw and easing pressure on the temporomandibular joint.

The dental bridge, or dental crowns or dental implants, can also help with bite changes. As teeth fall out, other teeth tend to shift, changing your bite. A dental bridge can help re-align the bite and relieve TMJ symptoms. Bites can also be misaligned due to cracked teeth, which crowns can protect and improve.

To find out if you have TMJ, and if a dental bridge or crown could do something to resolve your TMJ symptoms, look for family dentistry or a TMJ center in your area. A good dentist can give you a diagnosis and let you know which treatments, like a dental bridge, might be most effective.

But whatever you do, don’t simply live with the pain, aches, and frustration of TMJ. Improved quality of life is possible: so go find it.

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