If you don’t know, put the following questions to yourself:
1. Do you feel any pain in the upper and/or lower jaws?
2. Do you regularly get headaches, sometimes followed by facial pain?
3. Are you ringing in your ears?
4. When you open or close your mouth, you hear a clicking or popping sound?
If you replied yes to all of these, then you may have an question.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint instability, and it is a disorder that irritates, hurts, dislodges, or activates the hinge joint that links the skull with the neck. These symptoms are typical of TMJ dysfunction and if you suspect that you may be suffering from this disorder, you need to find a TMJ specialist to get yourself treated as soon as possible. Learn more by visiting TMJ near me.
Here are some steps you should do to find care that is effective:
1. Keep a list of all the problems and concerns and you’ll have details for the health care professionals to talk. Note when and where the pain happens, what’s causing it and what’s making it feel better. At the same time, try to find out more about the disease, its origins, its effects and its care. The Internet is a great place to find articles and posts with a lot of information. You may even want to check the message boards for comments from other TMJ patients to see what they have experienced and how similar or different your case is to theirs.
2. Take the information you have found to your primary care doctor, along with your symptom log, who can examine you and make a preliminary diagnosis. Since most primary care doctors aren’t TMJ specialists, your doctor will send you to someone who is, if the situation warrants. That somebody will most likely be your dentist, and she can directly help you find the reason behind the symptoms you experience. She will give you a thorough examination of your mouth and jaw, and will review your symptom history. She may also use diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and CT scans (computerized tomography) to examine the teeth and the soft tissue around her. If she determines the cause of your problems is TMJ, one of the first things she may be trying to do is to fashion an oral appliance to prevent grinding and clenching of teeth. She can refer you to an orthodontist or other professional, such as a maxillofacial surgeon, if this is not helpful. Sometimes, a jaw imbalance needs to be treated through surgery, but this is usually considered as a last resort only. Make sure you understand why someone else is referring you to your dentist
3. Now that you’ve seen the dentist and had an approved TMJ diagnosis, go have a second opinion and a third opinion and maybe even a fourth opinion. This is absolutely crucial! Not every person is the same and not every patient has the same form and intensity of TMJ. You ought to locate a TMJ expert that can handle you properly, so you will only achieve that by telling someone what you’ve heard from their experience. And if you feel uncomfortable with a treatment option that she offers, be sure to ask why she recommends it to you; don’t accept a treatment blindly without understanding all the implications of what that treatment means.
4. Once you’ve settled on a potential treatment with your specialist, pause for a moment and ask your health insurance company if they will cover that. Not all insurance companies are covering TMJ treatment so checking ahead is always a good idea. Work out how much the medication will cost you if they won’t pay it, then consider whether it is an appropriate sum. Do not allow yourself to be forced into an unhealthy circumstance merely because the professional wishes to do so.
5. It’s also important to find support as you go through the process of tackling your TMJ problems. Having someone who knows what you’re going through is always much better; that way you can talk about all the points and compare opinions and procedures notes. TMJ support groups are around and you should think about reaching out to one. You will not only meet new mates, and maybe get a start on a potential doctor, but you can also get valuable tips and feedback about how other TMJ patients cope.
The pressure is on you to determine which is correct to handle your TMJ, if any of the choices given. Place yourself positive. Look for a TMJ expert with the best interest in mind, as well as the strongest potential plan. After all it is your body. Take good care.