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DENTAL SERVICES

TMJ TREATMENT

Do you constantly suffer from facial pain, whether it be headaches, jaw pain or earaches? In America, almost 15 percent of us do, with it being twice as common in women than in men. We should be turning to our dentist for treatment options so we can get our bodies and our lives back in a big way.

TMJ TREATMENT

FAMILY DENTISTRY

The source of these aches and pains can be related to one or both of the temporomandibular (TM) joints. Located on each side of the head, these joints work together, with a complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones, to make the necessary movements for chewing and speaking.

TMJ is characterized by the jaw twisting during opening, closing or side motion. TMJ is linked to arthritis, improper bites, jaw dislocation, injury and stress. Stress becomes a factor during strenuous physical tasks, like lifting heavy objects, as it may aggravate TMJ by causing the overuse of jaw muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism).

TMJ often reveals itself in several ways.

  • Pain in or around the ear
  • Headaches and neck aches
  • Tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
  • Jaw pain or soreness most prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
  • Jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • Sensitive teeth in the absence of dental problems

Presently, there is no widely accepted, standard test to accurately identify TMJ. This makes diagnosis difficult for dentists. Normally, patients explain symptoms to the dentist and then a general mouth and jaw exam is administered, sometimes accompanied by x-rays.

If Dr. Mike and his staff do believe you are experiencing TMJ, he will suggest a treatment option.

  • Pain treatment – This can mean resting the joint, taking an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory drug (aspirin or ibuprofen) or applying moist heat to the painful areas.
  • Relaxation techniques – Biofeedback or relaxation training may help to manage stress. A night guard may be prescribed to prevent your teeth from grinding during sleep.
  • Correction of poorly aligned teeth – Some type of adjustment, such as orthodontic treatment, may be available to correct teeth placement, with hopes of eliminating most symptoms.

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