TMJ syndrome is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joints on each side of the face. There is a lot that is still to be determined as the cause. So far, the closest explanation is that their musculature of the jaw might not be in line. There may be another issue with the joint that causes such symptoms to show up. Grinding teeth are one of them. A lot needs to be discovered about it still.
Some symptoms are seen on a daily basis that can help you to know if this is the condition you have. You will know it is the case when you feel pain in the TMJ areas, or pain when you chew or talk, trouble chewing, and swelling near the joints. Recurrent toothaches, headaches, and earaches are also symptoms. Some of these symptoms are so common you may not know their true cause. The good news is you can deal with them through simple pain relief.
Its treatment is thus not an easy thing to do. What some doctors do is to try and eliminate each symptom as they go. They shall start off by telling you to get some pain medication. You can also be asked to use a hot and cold compress.
In case you do not get some relief, a dental specialist shall put you on more rigorous medication. They might recommend some muscle relaxers, to ease the tension and the joint area. This shall also relieve the lower clenching in the TMJ area. There are choices you can make at this point if medication is not for you. They may for instance give you a mouth guard to help prevent grinding of teeth as you sleep. During the day, you may control the body’s movement. But there is no control you can exercise when you are fast asleep. Your jaws may start grinding together involuntarily. This is why you need to have the mouth guard.
In none of these options bear results, the doctors may then go for surgery. This is what they have to do for most of the extreme cases of TMJ. Settling for this option takes a lot of thinking, since the root cause of TMJ is still not clearly known. You only rely on the pain and discomfort to tell you of how much this syndrome has gone into your system. This surgery shall be aimed at getting you to a point where you are no longer in so much pain.
There is a lot that is still being studied about this syndrome. If you are affected, you need to explain clearly what and how much it is. This is how doctors know how to treat you. You should also not delay with telling them how you feel.