Facial pain is often not a cause of concern and is usually the result of headaches and injuries. It can be felt in any part of your face, including your eyes and mouth. However, although headaches and injuries are common causes, facial pain may also occur due to infections, nerve conditions, and dental and jaw problems. Among the most prevalent conditions affecting the jaw are TMJ disorders.
TMJ basically stands for temporomandibular joint, which is a ball and socket hinge found at the back of the jaw. Your TMJs are placed in front of your ears, on both sides of your face. These TMJs act as connectors between your lower jawbone and your skull and help in movements like speaking and chewing. If you have been experiencing frequent facial pain, specifically around your jaws, you might have TMJ disorder. Read on to learn more about TMJ disorders – including their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Definition of TMJ Disorders
A TMJ disorder essentially refers to a dysfunction of the TMJ. This dysfunction happens when the ligaments and muscles around your jaw joints become irritated or inflamed. A TMJ disorder can either be acute or chronic, and its resulting pain can be mild or severe.
With an acute TMJ disorder, it is still possible for your jaw to slip back into place on its own. However, it may also require the jaw to be pushed back into place manually by a doctor in an emergency room. On the other hand, a chronic TMJ disorder is much more serious, and the main concern of it is that the cartilage, muscles, tendons, and AE eventually become damaged, resulting in nerve damage, arthritis, and even permanent dislocation.
Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
The most common cause of a TMJ disorder is an injury to the jaw joints or the tissues around them. However, a TMJ disorder may also be caused by several other conditions, such as the following:
Arthritis in the TMJ
Bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching)
Dislocation of the disc located between the ball and socket joint
An improper bite
TMJ disorders are most common in individuals who are between the ages of 20 and 40. They also generally affect more women than men. Because the TMJ is located right behind a major nerve in the face, pain can spread throughout your forehead, eyes, ears, cheeks, teeth, tongue, and throat when your TMJ is impacted. Even the muscles of your upper back and neck may also become involved.
Minor discomfort at the TMJ usually goes away without treatment. However, if you have more severe TMJ symptoms, you should consider undergoing an evaluation for TMJ or facial pains treatment in Singapore to prevent future issues. Here are some usual symptoms indicating that you might have a TMJ disorder:
Persistent episodes of pain or tenderness in and around the ear or at the TMJ
Constant pain in other parts of the face, which lacks an obvious cause
Locking of the jaw joint in either the open or closed position
A grinding or clicking noise when the jaw is opened or when chewing, accompanied by limitation of movement and discomfort
Pain or discomfort while chewing
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
Pain in the neck or shoulders
Swelling on one side of the face
Changes in the way the teeth fit together
Treatment for TMJ Disorders
The treatment for a TMJ disorder begins at the origin of the pain. Once your doctor has determined what is causing your pain, the treatment can start. As such, it is important to go through in-office evaluations, CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tools. Usually, mild forms of TMJ disorders are treatable with a combination of medications for pain and inflammation and non-medical therapies.
Sometimes, the problem can be as simple as stress that causes grinding of the teeth or jaw clenching. In that case, your TMJ discomfort can be relieved with the help of cold or hot therapy, night guards, and relaxation methods. Meanwhile, in cases of severe and chronic TMJ disorders, surgical approaches may be necessary. While most patients will not require TMJ surgery, it can have a profound benefit in improving the quality of life for a few individuals.
A TMJ disorder might be one of the possible reasons behind your persistent facial pain. If you are experiencing any or all of the symptoms of a TMJ disorder, it is highly advised that you seek medical advice right away since an untreated TMJ disorder can lead to more serious health problems, such as chronic pain and inflammation, tooth erosion and bite issues, insomnia, and even anxiety and depression. Ultimately, having a TMJ disorder can adversely affect the quality of your life.
For the best and most reliable of Singapore’s facial pains treatments, Affinity Pain Clinic is the expert you can trust! We are a specialist for headaches, facial pains, musculoskeletal pains, and several other types of pain that can provide you with the most effective and comprehensive treatment options in the country.
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