Is TMJ a Dental Emergency?

Is TMJ a Dental Emergency?

Dental-related problems can cause a great deal of pain. There are many things you can do to try and ease your discomfort, including taking over-the-counter pain relievers or using ice to relieve the pain. In some cases, the pain simply won’t subside, no matter what home remedies you attempt. If you’re in pain, you may find yourself wondering if what you are experiencing is a dental emergency in Mesa or not.

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, can cause you pain and leave you wondering if what you are experiencing is a dental emergency. Here’s what you need to know about TMJ.

What is TMJ?

What is TMJ?Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, more commonly referred to as TMJ, is related to the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is damaged it can cause a TMJ disorder. In some cases, TMJ occurs due to injuries to the jaw region. In other cases, there is no known reason why this condition occurs. Common problems include jaw misalignment, teeth grinding or clenching, headaches, and poor spinal alignment.

What Are the Signs of TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can have many signs and symptoms related to it. It’s important to note that the symptoms you experience can vary from someone’s else experience. You may experience only one of these issues or every possible symptom.

  • Jaw popping
  • Jaw clicking
  • Jaw pain that ranges from minor to severe
  • Popping in the ears
  • Ear pain
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw
  • Stiff or sore jaw
  • Locking in the jaw or jaw joint area

If you experience one or more of these issues, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to be evaluated. They can determine if you are suffering from TMJ or a different condition.

How is TMJ Treated?

How is TMJ Treated? As you can see, temporomandibular joint dysfunction has a wide range of symptoms. As such, the treatment plan for TMJ varies based on the patient, the severity of your condition, the severity of the pain you’re in and the range of symptoms you experience. Many people who have TMJ respond well to home treatments. This includes NSAIDs and ice packs to relieve pain and discomfort. Massage and gentle stretching can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort. For those with more severe pain or symptoms, treatment can include injections, dental splints, prescription pain medication and muscle relaxers, physical therapy for the jaw and even surgery.

Is TMJ a Dental Emergency?

TMJ is not a dental emergency. However, if you experience severe pain and are unable to relieve the symptoms on your own, you may need emergency dental care in Phoenix. Studies have shown that knowing the symptoms of TMJ and seeking dental care when problems first develop helps significantly decrease the chances of it developing into a painful experience. Being proactive will help you avoid needing to see an emergency dentist or visiting your local emergency room.

What Should You Do If You Experience a TMJ Emergency?

If you are experiencing a TMJ emergency, the first thing you should do is attempt to treat the problem at home. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and place an ice pack on the area that is in pain. In many cases, this can calm the symptoms down enough for you to get relief. If you are still in significant pain, you will want to locate an emergency dentist who has experience in treating TMJ. Not all dentists are properly trained to treat this condition. Once you have located someone who can help, make an appointment. They can offer you treatment that will help relieve your pain.


If you are experiencing severe pain related to TMJ that you can’t relieve on your own, you may be experiencing a dental emergency. Dental Brothers is an emergency dentist in Phoenix, Arizona. We can help to treat your symptoms quickly, relieving your pain and offering treatment options.  We help patients with a wide variety of dental conditions. If you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact us today to find out how we can help you.