Our clinic offers TMJ Treatments. These treatments examine the ability of your jaw to open and close properly. TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. How your jaw and joint interact affect how you chew, speak and swallow. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.
There are certain symptoms that are caused by TMJ you should be aware of, all of which you should bring to your dentist’s attention.
If deemed necessary, we will take an x-ray in order to view your jaw, joints, and teeth. This helps us rule out other possible things that may be mistaken for TMJ. An MRI or CT scan is done in some cases. All of these x-rays and scans are painless and only require you to remain still for a time.
TMJ issues can result from different things. If your jaw is injured or dislocated, you may need treatment. It can also result from how your teeth and jaw align, or grinding your teeth due to daily stress. Many people may not realize they clench their jaw during the day as a way to deal with stress. It is important that you contact our clinic if you have suffered an injury or clench your jaw and notice the symptoms we have listed above.
There are several things we advise our patients to do in order to treat this on a daily basis, especially to avoid letting it get to a point where you need surgery. As far as nutrition, you should eat soft foods and avoid chewing gum. You can also use heat packs at home to help with pain. One of the best things people who clench their jaws can do is be more aware of it. Once you notice you are doing it, you can practice relaxation and breathing to stop it. We can also give you a mouth guard to help reduce the pressure during the day and at night. There are certain medications we can prescribe when deemed necessary due to the pain you may be in.
In certain cases, we will recommend surgery. There are certain things you must suffer from in order to qualify for surgery, as it is our goal to help you heal without it. You must experience intense pain when you try and open or close your jaw. You must be very limited on how much you can open your mouth. Eating and drinking must be very difficult and cause pain in your jaw. Your pain must have become progressively worse over a period of time, despite going through many other treatments. Lastly, imaging must show that you have damage or disease in your jaw joint.
If you qualify for surgery, and there are no other options, there are different types of surgery you will be made aware of. The surgery that is chosen will be a direct reflection on the severity of your symptoms.