Disorders of the temporomandibular joint, often referred to collectively as TMJ or TMJ disorders, can cause serious and debilitating side effects. These disorders are often very difficult to correct successfully, even with surgery. Many doctors prescribe muscle relaxers as a first line of care for TMJ, however muscle relaxers come with the risk of side effects, the possibility of adverse reactions, and don’t effectively treat the underlying cause of TMJ disorders. To find out how you can get relief from TMJ without muscle relaxers or surgical intervention, contact Dr. Joe Piché and Dr. Lea Piché in Traverse City, Michigan today.
TMJ Q & A
What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ?
The signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain around and in your ear
- Pain when chewing
- Facial pressure
- Lock jaw, a condition in which you can’t open or close your mouth
- Clicking in the jaw when you close or open your mouth
When should I seek care?
Some patients experience clicking of the jaw without pain or limited range of motion; if this is the case, care isn’t necessary but chiropractic adjustment may still help. If you’re experiencing pain or limited motion of the jaw, it’s important to seek care right away.
What are the risks of untreated TMJ disorders?
Choosing not to seek care for TMJ can result in more serious complications and long-term problems, including:
- Wear and tear on your teeth from uncorrected grinding
- Broken teeth
- Dental pain
- Swelling the face
- Locked jaw
- Dislocation of the jaw
- Chronic headaches
Who is at risk of TMJ disorders?
Although anyone can get TMJ, you may be at increased risk if you suffer from arthritis, have injured your jaw recently or in the past, grind or clench your teeth, or suffer from a certain disease that affects the connective tissue.
Should I see my doctor or my dentist if I’m suffering from TMJ?
The right professional to treat TMJ is actually a combination of professionals, including your chiropractor and your general dentist. The reason this team needs to work together is to treat both aspects of TMJ: the dental aspect and the muscular/skeletal aspect. When both are approached with equal care and concern, not only can TMJ be treated successfully, but future problems can be prevented.
Dr. Joe Piché and Dr. Lea Piché will partner with your dentist, keeping an open line of communication to ensure you receive well-rounded care for your TMJ disorder.