Peeling back myths leads to real causes of TMJ, and appropriate treatment near Greer
The dental condition that many people associate with popping or clicking as the mouth opens and closes is known as TMJ. This abbreviation actually stands for the temporomandibular joint, of which each person has two. These joints are situated at the back of the jaw, attaching it to the skull.
Our TMJs facilitate movement, allowing us to chew, speak, laugh, and smile. Because these joints slide from side to side, forward and backward, and up and down, it is easy to see how dysfunction can develop and have far-reaching effects. People who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD, may experience a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, including chronic headaches, migraines, limited mobility in the jaw, head, and neck, localized pain, earaches, tinnitus, and other problems. Because TMJD is a chronic condition, many people with it experience fatigue and depression due to loss of sleep.
You would think that recognizing TMJD would lead to relief. Sadly, there are several myths surrounding the condition, and misinformation that inhibits a person’s ability to obtain appropriate treatment. Some of the misguided details readily offered for TMJ sufferers include:
- The chronic pain experienced is fabricated, a product of the imagination. This is actually the theory of many who have never experienced the pain of this condition personally. TMJ, in fact, IS all in your head – literally!
- There is a medical specialty for the treatment of TMJ Disorder. Actually, there is no specialty in either the medical or the dental field for treating this condition. The variations in treatment, thus, lead to frustration and delayed results for many. In the field of dentistry, the study of the relationship between the jaw and other parts of the body has led to significant advances in the treatment of TMJD.
- TMJ Disorder can be treated with either medication or surgery. Medications are used to mask painful symptoms, rather than treat the cause of TMJD. Over time, however, stronger and stronger medications are needed to treat pain, which has become the focus of treatment. Rarely recommended, surgery is used as a last resort, to “cure” TMJ disorder, repositioning or removing the disc that cushions the jaw, or replacing the joint itself.
In order to provide true relief from painful symptoms, we investigate real causes of TMJ disorder, helping our patients from Greer and surrounding areas return to a better quality of life. Contact Palmer Distinctive Dentistry to learn more about our successful treatment of TMJ disorder.