If you are experiencing jaw pain, you may be one of the 3 million people who suffer from TMJ syndrome. Before self-diagnosing, it is important to see a healthcare provider so they can evaluate your condition and provide you with treatment options. Make an appointment with Dr. Bryan G. Foote to learn if you have this common jaw disorder.

What is TMJ syndrome?

The temporomandibular joint is the part of the body that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull in a hinge-like fashion, so this disorder is often referred to as TMJ syndrome, while Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is the proper terminology for it. TMD refers to the pain and/or limited movement of the jaw due to dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint and surrounding muscles. This joint is provides movement when chewing, talking or yawning.

Symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Pain or swelling near the jaw, ear or cheek
  • Headaches or earaches
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Jaw locking or limited movement
  • Difficulty chewing

Treatment Options

TMD can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the severity of your condition. In rare cases, surgery may be required to repair the temporomandibular joint. In most cases, this condition is treated through exercises, self-care, stress reduction, medication or appliances. During your visit, Dr. Foote will examine your jaw, discuss your symptoms and limitations before recommending the ideal treatment option.

If you grind your teeth at night, this could cause or worsen TMJ syndrome in addition to damaging or wearing down your teeth. To prevent this, Dr. Foote can provide you with an appliance that will protect your jaw and teeth.

Tips for Reducing Jaw Pain:

  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Reduce pain by applying ice packs or heat to the joint area.
  • Avoid clenching teeth by relaxing your jaw muscles.
  • Reduce jaw pressure with a diet of soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing.
  • Try relaxation therapies like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

In addition to these tips, it is recommended that you see a healthcare professional to evaluate the severity of your condition.

Schedule Your Appointment

If jaw pain or constant jaw popping is wearing you down, it’s time to find a TMJ treatment. Give us a call at (573) 449-2311 or fill out our form online to sign up for an appointment with Dr. Bryan Foote.