The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, or the joint that connects the lower jaw to the rest of the head. The term “TMJ” is often used to refer to TMJ disorder, also called TMD, which occurs when the jaw joint becomes stressed, injured or misaligned. TMJ disorder may result due to several different factors, such as stress, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), arthritis in the TMJ, or trauma and injury to the head, neck or jaw.
You may suffer from TMD if you experience frequent jaw pain or facial pain. TMJ disorders may also cause:
In most cases, TMJ can be treated fairly easily. More complex and significant problems arise when the TMJ or related structures are irritated, causing inflation and inhibiting jaw movement. The irritation can be caused by behaviors such as clenching or teeth grinding or traumatic accidents that shift connective tissues out of position.
Our dentists can help you determine the cause of your TMJ disorder and recommend the appropriate treatment. We will use an advanced cone beam scanner to pinpoint the source of your discomfort and the areas where treatment will be most effective. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your condition.
If your TMJ is caused by unhealthy habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth, our dentists may recommend a custom mouth guard to relieve muscular stress. We can also treat TMJ with physical therapy, and may refer you to a trusted physical therapist who will stretch out the jaw muscles or move cartilage back into place. We may also provide a home care regimen involving stretching techniques and ice to keep the jaws comfortable and loose. In more extreme cases, we may recommend jaw surgery.
To learn more about TMJ treatment and schedule your consultation with our dentists, we encourage you to contact us today.