Temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorders are linked to the complex joint of your jaw. Indications like pain in the region or clicking noise when your jaw moves could be resulting from TMJ disorders. Fortunately, these issues are now much easier to identify and treat than previously. While no single method can cure a TMJ disorder totally, finding the root cause of your problems can allow us at Beautiful Dentistry in Tempe, AZ 85284, to help reduce or eliminate the symptoms and advance a healthier, pain-free jaw.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joints assist in connecting your jaw to your skull, allowing speech, chewing, and other motions. A TMJ disorder occurs when the joints and the chewing muscles of the jaw are not working together appropriately. Consequently, additional stress is placed on the joints, muscles, and bones connected to these joints. While some of the symptoms seem to be mere irritations, many TMJ issues could develop into more severe conditions, making early diagnosis and treatment vital.
What Are the Causes of TMJ disorder?
Identifying the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder will allow us to find the correct treatment for your situation. If you are feeling pain in the jaw area, then it’s essential to diagnose the reasons for TMJ disorder, which can include the following:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Misalignment of the jaw or teeth
- Gum chewing
- Trauma to the jaw or teeth
What Are the Treatment Options?
Our primary goal is to get you relief from joint pain and muscle spasms. This can be accomplished with pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatory drugs like injectable steroids that ease inflammation and pain in the area. Besides providing immediate relief, these drugs can also reduce stress and tightness in the area, making it easier to attain a longer-term solution.
In addition to pills, we will suggest a self-care regimen that includes specific jaw and posture exercises, applying heat or ice, eating softer foods, and resting techniques like keeping the teeth apart when not eating or swallowing.
In some cases, we also prescribe various appliances to help your TMJ disorder. A transparent plastic device called a nightguard or splint is fitted over your upper or lower teeth to keep them open. This will prevent grinding and help relax the muscles and reduce pain, besides avoiding damage from grinding. There are also frontal positioning appliances to move the jaw forward and relieve pressure and orthotic stabilization appliances that help move your jaw into the precise position. These may be worn the whole day or just at night, depending on your condition.
If you want to get treated for TMJ disorders, call Beautiful Dentistry in Tempe, AZ 85284 at (281) 991-6530 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Martin Sobieraj.