When the jaw hinge does not function as it should, the patient will need the help of a dentist specializing in treating TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. But how can one tell? Is there any way a dentist who specializes in TMJ New York can help? A common symptom of TMJ is discomfort or a popping noise whenever the patient opens or closes their mouth. If you’re not sure whether or not you should see a TMJ specialist, here are five signs that might help you make up your mind:
1. Pain in the Jaw or Face
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw or face, it is time to see a TMJ specialist. While many other issues could cause it, TMJ is a common cause of facial pain and should be ruled out.
2. Difficulty Chewing or Speaking
You may have difficulty chewing or speaking if you suffer from TMJ disorder. Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause the jaw muscles to become tired and strained, leading to pain and discomfort when you speak or eat.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see a TMJ specialist immediately. They can help diagnose the problem and recommend a treatment plan that will help alleviate your symptoms.
3. Popping and Clicking Noises
If you have problems opening your jaw, especially while trying to chew or speak, this might be the most obvious and telling indicator that you have a problem with your TMJ. Possible TMJ symptoms include pain when opening your mouth and the presence of popping, clicking, or even cracking sounds. If the patient is in agony, this is of paramount importance.
4. Jaw Locking and Stiffness
Do you have jaw stiffness or find that your jaw gets locked when you try to open or close it? Jaw stiffness and locking can be a sign of TMJ disorders, and it is important to see a specialist if this is happening regularly. Jaw stiffness or locking can be caused by inflammation, which is why it feels tight and sore. It can also be caused by joint dislocation or misalignment of the teeth. If you are experiencing this regularly, seeing a specialist to get an accurate diagnosis is important, as treatments may be available to make your jaw feel more comfortable.
It is worth noting that jaw tension often gets worse when you are stressed out, so try to relax as much as possible and practice mindful breathing exercises. You don’t necessarily need to see a specialist immediately, but if the tension persists for more than a few weeks, then it would be wise to set up an appointment with someone specializing in TMJ treatment.
5. Chronic headaches and migraines
A variety of things can cause headaches and migraines, but if you are experiencing chronic ones that aren’t diminishing, it could be a sign that you should see a TMJ specialist. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is caused by imbalances in the muscles used for jaw movement.
It can cause pain in areas like the jaw, face, neck, and even headaches. If you think your headaches may be due to TMJ, pay attention to the pain: is it concentrated around the jaw area? Does it change when you open or close your mouth? If so, see a TMJ specialist who can diagnose you accurately.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should consult with a TMJ specialist. They will be able to help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to ease your symptoms.