The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects your jaw to the temporal bone. This joint allows you to open and close your mouth, chew and speak. It works together with your jaw muscles and surrounding teeth to help you perform these tasks.
TMD can cause a number of problems, including headaches, earaches, neck pain, facial pain, dizziness, and ringing in the ears. Some patients even experience chronic jaw pain.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
Many people develop TMJ pain without realizing that they have an oral health disorder. Pain in the jaw, discomfort when chewing, inability to open or close the mouth completely, and clicking or popping sounds when the mouth opens or closes are all common symptoms of TMJ disorders.
How is TMJ disorder treated?
TMJ disorder treatment will vary based on the cause of the disorder. The common treatments are:
A night guard can help to reposition your jaw and prevent excessive wear on your teeth. If your TMJ disorder is severe, you may need a custom-made nightguard. A nightguard is worn over your bottom teeth while you sleep. Its purpose is to keep your jaw in a neutral position.
In some cases, it may be necessary to adjust your bite or the way your teeth come together. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Teeth grinding: Many people grind their teeth in their sleep. This can wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, and result in headaches. A bite adjustment can help align the teeth, reducing jaw pain and headaches.
- Crowded or overlapped teeth: When your teeth are not properly aligned, it can lead to dental issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment can help straighten crowded or overlapped teeth.
- Toothaches: If you experience chronic dental pain, it's important to have a proper diagnosis. However, a misaligned bite can be a source of tooth pain. A bite adjustment can help properly align your teeth, reducing pain.
Orthodontics is a common treatment for patients with TMD. Orthodontic treatment can correct issues with a patient's bite, including teeth grinding, and prevent teeth from wearing down as a result of clenching. It can also correct crooked or overlapping teeth.
Many patients find relief from TMJ pain with oral appliance therapy. These oral appliances can help patients avoid grinding and clenching of the jaw, which triggers TMJ pain and other symptoms. Some patients find relief from TMJ pain with nightguards, which are worn at night to prevent teeth grinding.
For more serious cases of TMD, surgery may be required. There are a number of surgical procedures for TMD, including arthroscopy, hyoid myotomy, and joint replacement. Surgery is used to release abnormal tissue in the jaw, reposition the jaw, and repair the joints.
At Dynamic Dental Services, we offer the best dental care possible to each of our patients in a positive and relaxing environment. If you're ready to experience the best dental care, please contact us at (773) 538-6191 or visit us at 5401 S. WENTWORTH AVE. #200, Chicago, IL 60609.