Dentofacial Pain’

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Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain is a common source of chronic pain for men and women throughout Australia. The mandible, which is another name for jawbone hinges with the temporal bone of your skull in front of and just below your ear. You have two hinges, one on both sides of your face. In normal circumstances, a cartilage disc separates the mandible and temporal bones. This prevents the bone surfaces from wearing down and acts as a shock absorber for the surrounding joints, in a very similar fashion to the knee joint.

How Does TMJ Disorder Develop?

People open and close their mouths thousands of times each day to speak, eat, yawn, and breathe. Over time, these actions can cause wear and deterioration of the cartilage disc as well as changes in the mandible and temporal bones, leading to extreme jaw pain…… similar to the pain experienced by arthritis sufferers. The disorder is especially common among adults with a clenching or tooth grinding habit, known as ‘Bruxism’. When the pain lasts for a long time without subsiding, your dentist is likely to diagnose you with TMJ disorder or dysfunction. If you currently live with this type of dentofacial pain and the remedies you have tried to relieve it are not working or cannot be tolerated, the skilled dental staff at FaceLab Clinic can help.

Common Symptoms of TMJ

You may have TMJ if you regularly experience at least a few of these symptoms:

  • You hear clicking or popping noises when you open and close your mouth
  • Frequent neck pain
  • Unexplained dizziness
  • Uneven movements of your jaw
  • Ringing in the ears – also called tinnitus
  • Stiffness or pain in the back of your head
  • You are unable to open your mouth as wide as you used to
  • Headaches upon waking in the morning

Dealing with these symptoms day in and day out can make you feel miserable and cause you to have a poor quality of life. It is essential that you get an evaluation and proper diagnosis so that a plan of treatment / management can be implemented.

Reducing the Pain Associated with TMJ

When you visit FaceLab for the first time, our dentists complete a thorough examination to determine the cause of your pain. Once we know that, we are able to move on to creating a treatment / management plan that considers the severity of your TMJ as well as how long you have experienced it. Your pain relief protocol will most likely be multidisciplinary involving a combination of various different treatments. Splint therapy, medications, muscle relaxants, tooth shape adjustments, dental rehabilitation, counselling etc. all in an effort to help reduce the pain. It’s important to follow through with our recommendations between appointments to ensure your long-term success at beating TMJ pain.

Please contact your nearest FaceLab office to schedule an evaluation today.

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