Your body is a marvel, don’t you think? It’s a complex system that is comprised of many smaller and equally complex systems to make a whole. Two of those systems are located on either side of your face just in front of your ears. Here are your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs for short. They are what allow you to open and close your mouth so you can speak, eat, smile and laugh. There are circumstances, however, that can cause them to malfunction. When this happens, you can count on Dr. Nawrocki for TMJ treatment in Orange Park, FL.
What Causes TMJ?
Both of your TMJ joints are made of a delicate balance of muscles, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Any one of these components are susceptible to malfunction as a results of injury to your teeth or jaw, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) or a misaligned bite. Other factors that may contribute to TMJ disorder include frequent gum chewing, bad posture or arthritis.
Symptoms of TMJ
In proper balance, your TMJ joints allow you to smoothly move your lower jaw up and down, side-to-side and even a little bit forward and backward. With TMJ disorder, these movements may cause pain. Some people report feeling a dull pain, while others notice a sharp pain as they open and close.
Other common symptoms include:
- Hearing a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth
- Facial swelling
- Feeling like your jaw is locked or stuck in position
- An earache, but no sign of infection
Diagnosing TMJ in Orange Park
As a prosthodontist and general dentist in Orange Park, FL, Dr. Nawrocki has the education and training to diagnose and treat TMJ. He will conduct a thorough examination of your head and neck and then carefully analyze your bite. With this information he will be able to determine whether or not you have TMJ disorder. An accurate diagnosis is critical. What many people think is jaw pain may actually be stemming from the neck and may require alternative treatment.
TMJ Treatment in Orange Park, FL
Depending on the symptoms you have the reasons for your TMJ—an injury as opposed to a misaligned bite, for example—Dr. Nawrocki will recommend the best course of treatment. His conservative approach may include physical therapy, medication or an oral appliance. In addition, he may recommend lifestyle changes such as a soft foods diet for a temporary length of time and yoga or meditation to reduce stress.
Call Our Office Today
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, then contact the dental office of Dr. Matthew Nawrocki in Orange Park, FL.