Do you experience jaw pain? Temporomandibular joint disorders occur when there is undue stress on the joints that connect the jaw bone to the skull. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) aid in the function of the jaw. Other common causes of TMJ disorders include injuries, bite misalignment, arthritis, and poor posture. Patients who are under stress are more likely to develop TMJ disorders, often as a result of teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
The dentists of Brookwood Dental Associates offer TMJ treatment to patients in Lansdale, PA. TMJ treatment is a restorative dentistry solution that Brookwood Dental Associates offers to the public. Patients can restore the function and health of the smile with personalized dental care and TMJ therapy.
Common Signs of TMJ Disorders
Some TMJ symptoms to be aware of include:
- Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
- Jaw and facial pain
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Jaw popping and clicking
- Pain when biting or chewing
Contact Brookwood Dental Associates if you have any of these symptoms. Our team will examine your teeth, gums, and jaw joints in order to recommend the right treatment for you. Every patient is different, so we will help you determine what works for your specific TMJ problems.
How to Treat TMJ Disorders
There are a number of treatments that benefit patients with TMJ disorders:
- Physical Therapy: For patients with moderate TMJ disorders, we will often recommend physical therapy. Physical therapists help improve mobility with jaw and arm exercises to improve posture and lessen tension on the temporomandibular joints.
- Nightguard: A custom nightguard can be worn during sleep to stop teeth clenching and grinding. Similar to a mouthguard, a custom-tailored nightguard is made to fit a patient’s upper arch of teeth. Wearing this nightguard relieves stress on the jaw joints and protects the teeth from further wear or damage.
- Tooth Realignment: In some cases, extremely crooked or misaligned teeth contribute to TMJ disorders. This is because they create an unbalanced bite, which puts stress on different areas of the mouth. Patients who receive braces or Invisalign can realign their smile and assuage TMJ pain and dysfunction.
TMJ Disorder FAQs
How does a dentist check for TMJ?
A dentist will first look for signs of TMJ disorders with a visual exam, feeling for pain and discomfort in the face and jaw. Dentists can also take detailed digital X-rays to look for teeth and jaw damage. A dentist can also measure the bite and bite pressure to see how you open and close your mouth. Abnormalities in the bite, tooth wear, and damage to the TMJ are indicators of TMD.
Is TMJ a dental or medical problem?
TMJ disorders are both medical and dental problems. The classification of dental or medical will depend on the cause of TMD. If patients have medical problems that lead to TMJ symptoms, their TMJ is a medical problem. TMJ may be viewed as a dental problem in patients with this bite problem because they clench and grind their teeth.
What does a TMJ flare-up feel like?
When your symptoms of TMJ reoccur, you can experience these symptoms:
- Pain when chewing hard or crunchy foods
- Jaw pain
- Morning headaches and migraines
- Jaw popping and clicking
Can TMJ be only on one side of your face?
If you have TMD, it is possible to feel uneven pain or discomfort in one side of your face more than another. However, as TMD progresses, you may feel symptoms, including jaw pain, in both joints.
What side should I sleep on if I have a TMJ disorder?
It’s best to sleep on your back and avoid sleeping on your stomach to minimize TMJ pain. Sleeping on your back helps ensure that your head and neck are in proper alignment. Avoid sleeping on your stomach to lower the risk of exerting pressure on the jaw. When sleeping on your stomach, your face can rest on the side, and movements you make during sleep can add pressure to your jaw.
Is heat or cold better for TMJ pain?
Ice is best for new injuries. You can use an ice pack to reduce swelling and jaw pain if TMJ disorders are a new problem. If you have chronic TMJ pain, a heating pad helps increase circulation, relax the jaw and facial muscles, and reduce pain. Use heat no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You can apply heat one to three times a day.
Renew Your Smile Today
Do you want to stop frequent toothaches and jaw pain? Schedule a dental appointment with our team online or call 267-651-7247 for TMJ treatment. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, and we will be glad to help.