If you suffer from chronic face or neck pain, you may have sought out doctor after doctor to find the root cause of your discomfort. But have you ever thought to consult with a dentist? Your pain could be linked to a problem affecting your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), more commonly known as your jaw joint.
Drs. Ivan & Allan Stein at Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey have been treating patients with TMJ disorder for decades, and many of our patients suffer from related face and neck pain. With the doctors’ help, you do not have to settle for a life filled with discomfort, stress and anxiety over your symptoms.
Why Do TMJ Problems Cause Face and Neck Pain?
The TMJ is the ball-and-socket joint that connects the back of your lower jaw to your skull. Though it is a small joint, it can cause significant pain if it becomes misaligned, dislocated or injured. Some of that pain may radiate through the face and neck because of the location of the joint. The TMJ is located right behind a prominent nerve in the face, which is part of an intricate network of nerves crossing and connecting the face, neck and head. TMJ injury or inflammation can irritate the nerve, causing pain felt in other areas beyond the jaw (including the eyes, ears, mouth, cheeks, forehead, throat, neck and back).
The nature of this pain varies widely by patient. In your case, you may experience a dull aching sensation or sharper pain affecting one or both sides of your jaw. The ache may become exacerbated when opening and closing your jaw to eat, speak and yawn. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as audible jaw popping or clicking, earaches, vertigo and a “locked” or “stuck” jaw.
Overcome TMJ-Related Pain
Luckily, TMJ-related pain affecting the face and neck usually resolves quite quickly after starting treatment with a qualified expert. At Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey, Drs. Stein have years of experience finding customized solutions to our patients’ problems. The most appropriate treatment for you will depend on what has caused your TMJ disorder. Is it stress caused by jaw clenching or grinding? A night guard and hot or cold therapy can soothe the discomfort. Is there a problem with the way your teeth fit together? Dental or orthodontic work will help. Often mild cases of TMJ dysfunction respond well to simple techniques such as jaw stretches, a soft foods diet and a short course of anti-inflammatory or pain medication.
Severe cases of TMJ disorder are very rare. For patients with severe TMJ problems, we offer surgical treatment options.
It’s Time To Consult With Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey
If you want an effective, lasting solution to chronic face and neck pain and have exhausted all other options, it is time to talk about TMJ disorder with the team at Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey.
If the cause is a problem with your TMJ, Drs. Stein can find a solution, help you overcome pain and take back your life. Call or email us today to schedule an appointment at Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey.