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Dental emergencies: how to know if I have TMJ? - TMJ relief in Hudsonville MI

TMJ affects over 10 million Americans. That’s 10 million people who struggle with chronic jaw pain, trouble sleeping, eating, and other classic symptoms of the disorder. In most cases, TMJ is no cause for alarm. But when is TMJ considered a dental emergency?

Symptoms and when to see a TMJ specialist

Keep in mind that TMJ symptoms can appear in many areas throughout the body. It’s a common misconception that TMJ symptoms only include jaw pain and “popping” noises. Here is what you should look out for.

Common TMJ symptoms

Forehead and crown: Pain or pressure felt in the temples, and headaches felt on one side.

Eyes: Pain, sensitivity, pressure, or a bloodshot appearance.

Jaw: Locking or uneven movement, clicking noises, and pain in the cheek muscles

Ears: Tinnitus, hearing loss, a clogged feeling, ear pain, and sensitivity

If you frequently experience any of these symptoms or they are interfering with your daily life, make an appointment with your dentist for TMJ therapy. The sooner you can diagnose the cause of your symptoms, the sooner you can find relief.

At-home TMJ relief

If you find yourself in a lot of discomforts caused by TMJ, here’s what you can do to find relief before seeing a TMJ specialist.

  1. Over-the-counter pain medication

Reduce swelling and pain caused by temporomandibular joint dysfunction by taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can find significant relief when combined with ice/heat therapy.

  1. Avoid chewy or hard foods

Strenuous use of the temporomandibular joint can aggravate pain and dysfunction in the area. Try to eat soft foods that are easy to chew until you can see your dentist.

  1. Manage your stress levels

Stress can also aggravate your TMJ disorder, causing tension and cramping. Practicing stress-relieving exercises at home can also provide significant relief.

When is TMJ a dental emergency?

In most cases, TMJ is not a dental emergency. Patients are usually able to treat it at home with the guidance of their dentist or another medical professional. However, there are rare situations when TMJ is a dental emergency.

Locked jaw

If you are unable to open or close your jaw, visit your nearest emergency room and do not attempt to force movement at home. When the jaw becomes locked in place, medical professionals can relocate the jaw and use sedatives to ease the pain and relax muscles.

Severe pain

When your TMJ pain is no longer manageable at home, this would also be considered a dental emergency. Contact your dentist for an emergency appointment or visit your local emergency room for treatment.

TMJ relief in Hudsonville MI

Work with a TMJ specialist at Great Lake Dentistry. TMJ disorder can easily begin to interfere with your daily life, but you can find long-lasting relief with your dentist. Schedule an appointment and find effective treatments for jaw pain in Hudsonville, MI.


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