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Carolina Center for Restorative Dentistry
Dr. Mayur Patel
Couple walking through Palmetto Islands County Park in Mt Pleasant, SC

When Is a TMJ Disorder a Dental Emergency?

June 23, 2022
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Posted By: Carolina Center for Restorative Dentistry
Man holding face from TMJ jaw pain

Dental emergencies near Mt. Pleasant, SC, are never a welcome occurrence. But, whether they come like a bolt out of the blue or result from a slowly progressing condition, all dental emergencies have one thing in common: they require immediate attention. And when that need arises, the team of professionals at the Carolina Center for Restorative Dentistry is here to help.

The first step in addressing a dental emergency is assessing how best to proceed. In some cases, such as a knocked-out tooth, the emergency is undeniable. However, if you suffer from issues with your jaw joint, also known as your temporomandibular joint or TMJ for short, then it may be less clear when you should seek emergency treatment. Here are some ways to help with that decision.

Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

When your TMJ is working correctly, you probably hardly notice it. But when its function is compromised, you’ll realize how much you use it. So when you have a TMJ dysfunction, it may be due to one or a combination of the following:

  • Trauma
  • Developmental defect
  • A misaligned bite or malocclusion
  • Uneven tooth wear

The symptoms of TMJ disorders include:

  • Clicking or popping jaw joint
  • Locking jaw
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Headache
  • Facial pain
  • Neck, jaw, or shoulder pain

When TMJ Disorder Becomes a Dental Emergency

As a rule of thumb, TMJ disorders are chronic, but sometimes their issues are acute. As with any dental emergency, if your pain has radically increased or is so bad that your daily routine breaks down, you should seek care immediately. The same is true if your locking jaw worsens to the point that it’s difficult to open your mouth.

Contact Us for Dental Emergency and TMJ Treatment in Mt. Pleasant

When it comes to TMJ dysfunction, the problems that result rarely resolve themselves. If you think you may have a dental emergency, we encourage you to call our Mount Pleasant dental office right away at (843) 849-9044 to schedule an examination with Dr. Mayur Patel.

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (843) 849-9044
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