You aren’t sure the last time you enjoyed a meal. Your jaw gets sore any time you eat something that requires a little chewing. Bagels, carrots, chicken, steak, and more leave you reaching for some pain reliever.
As much as you enjoy a serving of mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs, you don’t want your diet to be limited to those soft foods. You want to be able to eat what you want without dealing with pain afterward.
Look For The Signs
Jaw pain during or after meals is just one possible symptom of a TMJ problem.
Frequent headaches and earaches are another common side effect of this condition. General jaw soreness may occur as well. You also may experience pain in your face, neck, upper back, and shoulders.
Jaw mobility can be an issue, too. You may find that your jaw feels stiff when you try to open or close your mouth. You might notice a clicking or popping sensation. You might not feel like you can open or close your mouth completely, or you might find that your jaw feels stuck at times.
If you are experiencing these symptoms frequently, that is a reason to give us a call.
When you experience symptoms may be a clue as to the cause of your condition as well. Arthritis, injuries, and infections all can cause problems with your jaw joints. So can grinding or clenching your teeth together. This can be a response to stress in your life. (Family? Work? Financial?)
If you notice that your symptoms are more common in the morning, then you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Millions of Americans do this, and it can be particularly hard on your oral health.
The grinding wears down the enamel of your teeth, which can increase your risk of cavities. The pressure of grinding also puts added stress on your jaw joints and the muscles and ligaments around the joint.
How To Stop The Grind
If you are a tooth grinder, our Fort Smith dental team is ready to help. Whether you grind on your teeth in your sleep or subconsciously during the day, we have ways to treat this problem.
You can get a custom-made oral appliance. Your appliance acts as a barrier between your top and bottom teeth. It also shifts the position of your lower jaw, moving it forward slightly. This can alleviate the pressure on your jaw as well, which means fewer and less intense headaches, earaches, and other pains as you recover.
To stop the various pains and other problems associated with a TMJ disorder, don’t wait to get help. Contact our team at Dental Health of Fianna as soon as you are able. You can request an appointment by filling out our online form or by calling 479-262-9101.