4200 Columbia Rd, Martinez, GA 30907
706-868-1322

 

 

A steady ache, a clicking, popping noise when you open and close your mouth--what do these symptoms mean? What can be done about them?

Dr. John D. Massey, a family and cosmetic dentist at Augusta Smile Care, takes jaw pain seriously. Sometimes a sign of tooth decay or Jaw Pain abscess, pain can also be a symptom of a disorder of the hinge-like jaw joint.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, nicknamed TMJ, mostly affects women between the ages of 20 and 40, but men and other age groups can suffer from it, too, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. In fact, approximately 10 million people struggle with some degree of TMJ across the United States.

The Symptoms and Origins of TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction presents in different and sometimes quirky ways. Centered in the hinge-like jaw joint at either, or both, sides of the face, the most common symptoms are:

  • a clicking or popping sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • headaches
  • ear or neck pain
  • inability to open or close the mouth
  • bite changes
  • sore facial muscles

The most frequent causes of TMJ are arthritis, injury to the jaw from a blow to the face, poorly aligned dental bite and bruxism, or tooth clenching or grinding, especially at night.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Massey will perform a complete oral exam to determine what is happening with a symptomatic jaw joint. He will also discuss the patient's medical and prescription history and take x-rays to visualize the dental and bone structure. He pays particular attention to how the joints open and close and how the teeth bite together.

Simple at-home treatments of TMJ include:

  • eating softer foods
  • icing the jaw
  • physical therapy (special exercises designed to increase fluid motion of the jaw)
  • use of muscle relaxants and analgesics

Additionally, Dr. Massey often treats Augusta TMJ with a custom-made bite guard. Made of comfortable acrylic and typically worn at night, a bite guard alleviates teeth grinding and promotes proper bite. It's a simple and very effective solution to a difficult and often neglected oral health problem.

Are You Having Jaw Pain?

Dr. John D. Massey of Augusta Smile Care takes special interest in people with TMJ. If you are struggling with a sore, noisy jaw that is not working properly, contact Dr. Massey's office for a consultation appointment. Don't suffer, but get to the source of your discomfort. Call (706) 868-1322 today.

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John D. Massey, DMD
4200 Columbia Road
Martinez, GA 30907

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