TMJ Facts & Myths You Need To Know

Lately, you’ve noticed a bit of stiffness and even some discomfort in your jaw joints. That’s something you can just ignore, right? Unfortunately, that is usually a bad idea. TMJ pain like that doesn’t go away — it spreads to your head, neck, and back. This is when it becomes TMJ disorder, a serious condition that can lead to lockjaw and migraines.
That’s why you need to call our Salem, OR dental office today at 503-837-2718 and make an appointment for TMJ treatment. Dr. Hanson is highly trained to treat TMJ disorder before it gets out of hand — you just need to call first.

TMJ Disorder Explained

Your jaw is controlled by a pair of joints called your temporomandibular joints. That’s hard to say, so people normally use TMJ instead. Whenever you move your jaw to chew, talk, laugh, drink, or yawn, you rely on your TMJ.
That’s why you’re facing a serious problem when your TMJ start to get sore and overworked. As the muscles in the joint get damaged, you can start to feel stiffness and mild pain in your TMJ. This is when you have TMJ disorder.
However, that mild pain will keep getting worse and spread through your upper body. All your muscles are interconnected, so TMJ pain can eventually lead to:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder and upper back pain
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Migraines

Eventually, your TMJ can get so hurt that you have lockjaw where you cannot move your jaw.
By calling Oregon Smile Care Center, you can schedule an appointment to get TMJ treatment that relieves the pain before it spreads too far.

The Truth About TMJ Disorder

As with many disorders, there are some rumors and myths about TMJ disorder. Read below to set the record straight and see what you might be facing.
Myth: TMJ disorder is only caused by teeth grinding.
Fact: Teeth grinding is one cause, but there are many others.
Grinding your teeth unconsciously (known as bruxism) is a big reason why your TMJ might be sore. Bruxism often happens at night while you’re asleep. That’s when your muscles and joints are supposed to be resting and healing naturally. But grinding like that robs your TMJ of the healing time they need.
However, there are other causes of TMJ disorder. Stress, jaw injuries, and more can cause these problems. That’s why it’s important to call our Salem, OR dental office and come in to get evaluated by our highly trained dentists. Not all jaw pain is TMJ disorder, but too many people ignore the symptoms until it becomes really painful.
Myth: TMJ pain will go away on its own.
Fact: Normally, TMJ pain gets worse and spreads.
Some people hope TMJ pain will disappear eventually. If you have sore feet or a pain in your shoulder, many time you just need some rest and it heals itself. After all, that’s what your body does all the time.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case with TMJ disorder. You can’t simply shut your mouth for a few days. Even if you can get by with not talking, you still need to eat and drink. And because TMJ disorder is linked to bruxism, that grinding of your teeth at night robs you of nighttime rest. If you have some symptoms of TMJ disorder, call Oregon Smile Care Center today.
Myth: The only treatment for TMJ disorder is surgery.
Fact: Night guards and daytime appliances can be used for TMJ treatment.
Most of the time, a joint disorder requires surgery of some kind. Sometimes, it’s done to clear out torn cartilage. Other times, it’s to repair the muscles there. Because of that, one TMJ myth is that you’ll need oral surgery to correct TMJ disorder.
This is simply false. At our Salem, OR dental office, Dr. Hanson is trained in non-surgical TMJ treatment.

  • A night guard is similar to a comfortable mouthguard that you wear as you sleep. This takes pressure off your jaw joints so they can heal naturally, but it also helps protect your teeth from grinding.
  • A day guard is like a night guard, but you’ll wear it all day. Again, it helps your TMJ get the rest they need to finally start healing.
  • You can also get massage therapy and exercise solutions. These are particularly helpful in relieving the headaches and migraines that come with TMJ disorder.

Call us TODAY at 503-837-2718 and schedule your next appointment for TMJ treatment. Dr. Hanson is both trained and experienced in helping people find relief from the teeth grinding, stiffness, and pain that comes with TMJ disorder.

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