TMJ screenings for kids Idaho Falls

August 22, 2022

Many people suffer from what is known as a TMJ disorder, including children. This makes it necessary to enlist the assistance of a pediatric TMJ specialist in Idaho Falls.

What is TMJ?

When it comes to learning what TMJ is, we will start with the particular joint in everyone’s mouth that connects the jawbone to the rest of our skulls. It is referred to as the temporomandibular joint, hence the initials of TMJ that are used. This joint basically acts like a hinge of swords that allows all of us to be able to close or open our mouths. Everyone has these types of joints on each side of our mouth and their function is imperative for our jaw, and our mouth, to be able to function properly so we can speak clearly and chew our food. Some people, though, including some children, these two joints do not work properly which then makes the adult or child experience quite a bit of discomfort and even pain.

Causes of TMJ Disorders

When it comes to TMJ disorders, it can be difficult to determine what has caused it to happen but many experts have found that this very painful disorder is normally caused by one of several things, such as an injury to the jaw or teeth, misalignment of the jaw or teeth, nervousness and stress, teeth grinding or clenching, poor posture, excessive gum chewing, locking of the jaw joint, or even arthritis.

When it comes to TMJ disorders in children, it most often occurs in children who have a lot of stress in their lives which makes them grind their teeth, especially at night while they are sleeping. Stress can also make kids clench their jaw or tighten their jaw muscles throughout the day. There can also be dental issues that cause TMJ disorders in children, such as a bad overbite, joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis in other joint diseases, muscle issues or even muscle diseases like muscular dystrophy, or a history of trauma to the jaw or face of the child.


Signs and symptoms of TMJ Disorder in Children

If your child has any of the following symptoms, you may want to check with a trusted pediatric dentist, such as the teeth experts at Baker Pediatric Dentistry, to obtain the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for your child.

Signs that your child may have TMJ Disorder include;

Your child has difficulty opening his or her mouth.

Your child is experiencing jaw pain and jaw fatigue.

your child is having an excessive number of earaches or has ringing in their ear.

Your child experiences locking of the jaw or unexplained headaches.

There is a popping or clicking sound of the joint along with pain when your child opens and closes their mouth.

Your child is experiencing pain and/or swelling around the TM joint.


How Are TMJ Disorders in Children Treated?

For some kids who do not have a serious case of TMJ disorder, their treatment can be as simple as resting their jaw for several days, which means less talking in not eating foods that are harder to chew. Kids can eat softer foods for a period of time and parents can help kids avoid any bad habits that can aggravate the TM joint or the muscles of their face, such as clenching or grinding their teeth, opening their mouth extra-wide while yawning or yelling, or chewing gum. Ice packs can be applied to the side of the face that is affected or even a heating pad to help the child have more comfort while they rest their mouth.

In some cases, a child may need more extensive treatment by a dental professional. This is the time when it becomes necessary to enlist the assistance of a Pediatric TMJ specialist in Idaho Falls for more extensive and intense treatment options to help your child and relieve his or her pain from the TMJ Disorder.

A Pediatric TMJ specialist in Idaho Falls can take X-Rays of your child's mouth to help determine if they have TMJ Disorder, then devise a plan of action for treatment. Baker Pediatric Dentistry was founded by Dr. Thomas Baker who has decades of experience as a pediatric dentist and provides the best in pediatric dental care and treatments, including TMJ Disorder treatments for children and people with special needs. He and his staff offer a variety of pediatric dental services and strive to keep children calm while visiting their office. Call for an appointment today!

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