Experiencing Jaw Pain: Could it be TMJ disorder?

TMJ treatment SouthlakeDo you suffer with orofacial pain, particularly along the jaw? Perhaps you struggle with headaches and have difficulty opening and closing your mouth. These symptoms are classic markers of TMJ disorder. Our dentist provides TMJ treatment to improve oral function and alleviate discomfort.

Facts about TMJ Disorder

The TMJ is a joint that connects the lower mandible and the cranium. Every person has two TMJs, one on each side of his or her face. This joint moves to open and close the mouth. If you’re eating, speaking, or yawning, your TMJs are engaged.

Surrounding the TMJs are ligaments and muscles. These tissues, along with the TMJ itself, can become overworked and strained when patients have worn dentition, grind their teeth, or are overly stressed.

When the TMJ and its supporting tissues are strained, people can encounter discomfort and difficulty with oral function. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include popping or clicking sounds/sensations when the mouth is opening and closing, headaches, tooth wear, and tenderness along the lower half of the face.

Restorations to Rebuild Worn Teeth

Sometimes, TMJ dysfunction is the result of worn dentition. Worn teeth do not line up properly when the mouth is closed or when a person is eating food. Since worn teeth make improper contact, it can strain the TMJ and its neighboring ligaments and muscles.

One way to mitigate the effects of TMJ disorder is to rebuild a patient’s bite with restorations. This can include placing dental crowns, onlays, and bridges to ensure that teeth make healthier contact and ultimately, reduce strain on the TMJ.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Another option for relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ disorder is through oral appliance therapy. This is especially helpful for preventing bruxism (the act of grinding and clenching teeth). Oral appliances are worn over teeth at night when a person is sleeping.

Other Treatment Options

In addition to restorations and oral appliance therapy, our dentist might suggest massage therapy and stress reduction techniques. Both of these options can help relieve strain on the TMJ, its muscles, and ligaments.

If you have symptoms of this condition, call Tate Family Dentistry to reserve a TMJ treatment consultation with our caring team.

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