Dr. Kim Can Relieve Your Pain
You have two temporomandibular joints (TMJ). They’re located just beneath your ears, connecting the lower jaw to your skull. Your TMJ allows you to perform a wide range of motion, which is essential for everyday activities such as eating, speaking, yawning, and singing.
If you’re experiencing pain or swelling in the TMJ region, you could be suffering from a condition is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Some of the most common complaints among TMD sufferers are popping noises when they open and close their mouth and recurring pain or stiffness in the jaw.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kim by calling (610) 358-5690 right away. We’ll diagnose your condition and get you the help you need to relieve your pain.
What Causes TMD?
There are a number of factors that contribute to TMD. For example, it’s frequently triggered by bruxism, the clenching or grinding of your teeth that often occurs during sleep. Stress is a major contributor to bruxism.
Additional causes of TMD include osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in your TMJ or a dislocated disc between the ball and socket. We’ll use our advanced diagnostic equipment to pinpoint the source of your pain.
Common TMD Symptoms
TMD can manifest in a variety of symptoms, some of which can be very debilitating. Dr. Kim treats these common symptoms of TMD:
- Stiffness or pain in the jaw
- Facial swelling and pain
- Limited jaw mobility or lockjaw
- Clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw
- Neck pain
- Changes in your bite alignment
- Earaches or tinnitus (ringing of the ears)
Your Treatment Options
Dr. Kim features a range of options for treating TMD. These include at-home remedies such as applying hot and cold packs to your jaw and using over-the-counter pain medications to reduce swelling.
If these actions don’t alleviate your symptoms, Dr. Kim may provide you with a customized nightguard. This small plastic appliance is worn at night to prevent your teeth from clenching and grinding while you sleep. It also protects your teeth and any existing restorations from damage.
Your new nightguard might take a few days to get used to, but your jaw will quickly adjust to the point where you probably won’t even notice it. Stress-reduction techniques can also be used to reduce bruxism.
When should I see a doctor for TMJ problems?
If you’re suffering from consistent pain or soreness in your jaw, it’s a good idea to visit a dentist who has experience diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder. Dr. Kim can ensure that you get an accurate diagnosis and find an effective treatment that relieves your symptoms.
Should I be worried if my jaw pops when I chew?
Jaw popping is a common symptom of TMD. Since the temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to each side of your skull, any dysfunction with the joint can affect your ability to talk, chew, and yawn. If you notice popping or clicking sounds in your jaw when you do any of those things, we recommend contacting our practice as soon as possible.
Can TMJ disorder cause hearing loss?
Since the TMJ is located next to your ear, it can affect your hearing in certain cases. Some patients with TMD report ear pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss among their symptoms. If this happens to you, Dr. Kim can relieve your symptoms with a customized mouthguard.