Does TMJ Go Away?

If you have had TMJ symptoms for more than a few days, you probably wonder if TMJ will ever go away without professional treatment. Unfortunately, TMJ has many effects on your everyday life. These include impaired sleep, pain when eating, and difficulty concentrating. However, an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment can help alleviate your suffering and quickly return you to a regular routine.

If you have jaw pain, difficulty opening your mouth widely, or other TMJ symptoms, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral examination.

TMJ Symptoms

Although TMJ dysfunction affects women more than men and is more common among those between twenty and forty, anyone can have TMJ symptoms. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Tenderness or pain in the area directly in front of your ear.

  • Swelling on the affected side of your face.

  • Pain or difficulty chewing.

  • Painful or tired facial muscles.

  • Limited opening of your mouth.

  • Clicking, popping, or grinding noises when opening or closing.

  • Pain or soreness in the neck or shoulders.

  • Unexplained and persistent headaches.

  • Jaw locking open or closed.

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

  • Tooth pain.

  • Teeth not biting together evenly.

  • Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth).

  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers.

Causes of TMJ

Sometimes TMJ dysfunction occurs directly from trauma, such as whiplash during a motor vehicle accident. Other times the cause is uncertain or due to several factors. Several of the factors thought to be associated with TMJ are:

  • Habitual grinding or clenching your teeth.

  • Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriatic arthritis.

  • Stress or anxiety.

  • Displacement or damage to the temporomandibular disc.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Fibromyalgia.

  • Poor posture.

  • Malocclusion or jaw misalignment.

  • Habitually chewing on non-food items, such as fingernails.

  • Overuse of jaw muscles, such as excessively chewing gum.

Does TMJ Go Away Without Treatment

The discomfort and other symptoms of TMJ dysfunction usually resolve without treatment for most people. These cases are typically caused by lifestyle factors, such as stress or anxiety. Often, these issues result in oral habits, such as grinding or clenching your teeth or biting your fingernails. These TMJ cases only need the resolution of the stress or habit without any dental treatment other than a nightguard or bite guard.

However, TMJ caused by misaligned teeth or teeth that don’t bite together correctly might need a combination of one or more of these treatments:

  • Custom night guard.

  • Orthodontics.

  • Botox.

  • Dental crowns, bridges, or implants.

  • Orthognathic surgery.

  • Physical therapy.

  • Therapeutic muscular massage.

  • Prescription medications.

Self-Care for TMJ

There are several steps you can take to help alleviate your TMJ symptoms, such as:

  • Reduce stress.

  • Avoid habits, such as nail-biting and ice chewing.

  • Wear a night guard if you think you grind your teeth while sleeping.

  • Avoid opening too wide when yawning or eating.

  • Eat less hard foods and those that require prolonged chewing.

  • Get regular dental checkups.

Schedule Appointment

Persistent TMJ symptoms can affect most areas of your life, including work and sleep. Contact Trident Dental to discuss how we can help you feel better and return to an active and healthy lifestyle.

Schedule Appointment

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