Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJD) is one of the prevalent chronic pain conditions among youngsters & is mostly ignored. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, prevalence rate is between 5% and 12% and over 10 million Americans are affected by this.
The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to the skull. When injured, there is a chronic pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles that control movements in the area. As per the research it is caused by the combination of factors like- grinding, clenching, chewing, arthritis, stress, movement of ball and socket etc.
Here are some serious symptoms one should look out for:
1. Limited Ability to Open the Mouth Wide
This might not seem a big issue until you reflexively yawn and the jaw locks painfully. This condition indicates that disc movement between the ball and socket in the joint has moved which is extremely uncomfortable especially for youngsters who are used-to of chewing. In such case, your dentist needs to be alerted immediately to avoid more damages.
2. Excruciating Pain and Tenderness in the Lower Face
This extends to the shoulders, jaw area, and the neck, especially when you chew. When you try to open your mouth wide, you will also feel a sudden spasm of sharpness that will affect your eating habits with time. Again, this symptom needs to be checked at a dentist’s facility.
3. Swelling on Your Face
Dentists first examine your teeth to ascertain if there is any gum problem and if they don’t find any, they will start doing a detailed diagnosis. It is important to go for early treatment & avoid further damages. This also improves your dental health.
4. Ear Pain
The proximity of the affected area to the ear inevitably leads to ear discomfort. This is a highly ignored symptom as most of the people argue that it is temporary. If it recurs, then it’s important to get checkup done for this condition as you might also experience popping sounds in the ear.
5. Tired Feeling on the Face
This is also a highly ignored danger sign for this dental condition. Most people assume that it is a result of a hard day at work, but if you don’t get a checkup on or before the time, it can exacerbate to something more uncomfortable.
For early diagnosis and treatment, make sure to visit your dentist regularly. Not only does it improve your oral health, but also alleviates worse damage to the entire dental outlook and you will not feel discomfort while eating, which will improve your life greatly.