Are you feeling soreness or pain in your jawbone? Is it challenging to open or close your mouth? Does pain emit to your neck region? These may be indicators of a disorder in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the two joints on which your jawbone attaches to the skull. At Midtown Dental Clinic, we can address your symptoms and provide you relief from pain with an assortment of TMJ treatments.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder (TMD) is a dysfunction of the jawbone. It specially includes the joints on either side of your head that link the jawbone to your skull. Most of the TMD patients experience symptoms like:
- Pain or inflammation in the jaw
- Pain in either of the temporomandibular joints
- Severe pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty in chewing or speaking
- Trouble opening or closing your mouth
- Grinding or clicking sounds when you move your jaw
- Migraines, headaches, or dizziness
- Growth on the side of the face
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
The exact cause of TMJ pain is often unidentified. Researchers have found that it could be the result of:
- An injury to the jaw joint, or the muscles of the head and neck
- Clenching or grinding of teeth
- A shift of the soft cushion or disc between the socket and ball of the joint
- Stress-induced jaw tightening
How Can TMD Be Treated?
At our office, we start with a conventional approach since, in many cases; TMJ disorders are short-term and can be managed with at-home care therapies. Hence we may, in the beginning, prescribe:
- Over-the-counter painkillers
- Cold or hot compresses on the jaw
- A soft food diet
- Limiting jaw movements as much as possible
- Physical exercises to stretch and relax your jaw
- Stress management that helps patients avoid stress-inducing habits such as grinding or clenching their teeth or chewing on pencils
What Is Advanced Care For TMJ?
If conventional measures do not bring you relief from your TMJ issues, we may recommend a more advanced treatment plan. These may include
- A mouth guard or stabilization splint, especially if you grind or clench your teeth
- Braces or another orthodontic solution such as Invisalign to fix an uneven bite
- Dental restorations like crowns or bridges to repair and reshape your bite
- Botox treatment to relax the muscle and relieve the pain
If you seek treatment for TMJ disorder, contact us at Midtown Dental Clinic in Richland, WA, Suite 199352 at (509) 946-1678, and schedule an appointment.