Dr. Robert D. Lipschutz is an Ivy League educated dental practitioner. Dr. Lipschutz received his Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lipschutz is devoted to dental health care and prides himself with staying current with the latest technological advances in dentistry.
What is TMJ Pain?
The term TMJ pain is used to describe temporomandibular joint pain. This joint acts as a hinge which connect your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain throughout the joint and in the muscles which control its movement. The exact cause of a person’s TMJ pain is commonly difficult to pin point. The pain can be a result of arthritis, a jaw injury, some individual may even have pain associated with clenching or grinding their teeth. Most times the disorder can be managed with self care, however very occasionally surgery may be required.
What Symptoms Are Associated with TMJ Pain?
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders can commonly include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw area
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth
- Aching facial pain
- Difficulty chewing or discomfort when chewing
- Pain in or near the ear area
TMJ disorders can also cause the person’s jaw to make a clicking sound or a grating feeling when the mouth is open and closed. Typically seeking medical attention is needed when the pain or tenderness is persistent or if the jaw becomes difficult or impossible to open or close. Your doctor, TMJ specialist, or a dentist can help you find the appropriate treatment for your TMJ pain.
How is TMJ Pain Treated?
In some cases, persistent symptoms may need special treatment. Commonly medications and therapies are used to treat the ongoing pain. Often pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and sedatives are used to help manage the discomfort. Therapies such as bite guards and physical therapy are also recommended and can help with pain associated with teeth grinding or jaw clenching. In extreme cases, surgery or injections may be needed to stop the ongoing pain associated with the joint. Surgery is commonly used when there is a structural problem with the joint itself.