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The jaw joint is located just in front of each ear. It is a complex joint, and has many muscles controlling it. Many people experience severe pain in and around the joint. The pain can be sharp right in the area of the joint, or it may feel like an earache. It may be persistent, and often severe headaches result. People with TMJ problems may also experience muscles spasms in the neck, back or shoulders.
A bad bite, or persistent grinding or clenching of teeth can cause TMJ. Grinding and clenching seems to be related to stress. Correcting a poor bite and reducing stress in our lives would be ideal options; however, we often need relief immediately.
Grinding, clenching and a bad bite cause the muscles that control the jaw to be overworked, so they get fatigued and go into spasm. That is when the pain begins. An appliance can be worn over the teeth that allows the muscles to rest and reduces the symptoms. Various medications can also help reduce the pain, as can massage of the muscles, moist heat, and even physical therapy.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is not wise to ignore them or to attempt to cope with them on your own. It can get worse, without warning, and permanent damage to the joint can result, which may require surgery. The best thing to do is call our office immediately to be evaluated and get you on the road to recovery and relief.
At Carolina General & Cosmetic Dentistry, you can trust you are benefitting from the latest technological improvements in the dental and oral health field. Do not let prior experiences jeopardize your health today. We will take the time to get to know you, evaluate your situation, and work together to create a care plan that gives you peace of mind. Then we will use the best technology available to get the best results in the most comfortable manner possible.
Dr. Katherine Nicholson has been practicing dental medicine for more than 20 years. Known for both her expertise and kindness, she works to form trusting, long-term relationships with her patients. Dr. Nicholson understands that no two patients or situations are the same, and that's why she spends time getting to know you. She believes a personal relationship is the key to creating a care plan that improves your health and achieves your goals.