TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
By Steven Kail on July 08, 2016
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the temporal bones in the skull. This joint serves important functions, allowing you to move your jaw from side to side and up and down so you can chew, speak, and yawn. When the TMJ becomes inflamed or displaced, it can cause pain and jaw dysfunction, a condition known as TMJ disorder. At Premier Dental Center, Dr. Steven Kail, Dr. Joseph Leonard, and Dr. Chris Arnold offer general and restorative dentistry services to treat various dental conditions, including TMJ disorder. For your personalized TMJ disorder treatment plan, contact our Jackson, TN practice to schedule a consultation with us.
TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
TMJ disorder can result in pain that affects the jaw, back teeth, head, and ears. It can also make it difficult to open and close your mouth, and cause a popping or clicking sound when you use the jaw joints. To alleviate these symptoms, we offer various treatment options, including:
Dental Mouth Guards
Although the causes of TMJ disorder are not clear, patients that grind their teeth are more likely to suffer from this condition. Constant bruxing (teeth grinding and clenching) puts excessive pressure on the teeth and TMJs, and can cause the jaw joints to become inflamed or displaced.
By wearing a dental mouth guard at night, when most teeth grinding and clenching takes place, patients can maintain proper jaw alignment and minimize the force put on the teeth and jaw joints. At Premier Dental Center, we can fit you with a custom mouth guard. This involves coming to our practice to have impressions made of your teeth. We will send these impressions to our trusted dental laboratory, where your custom mouth guard will be fabricated.
Treatment for Bite Misalignment
Bite and jaw misalignment can contribute to TMJ disorder. If we determine that your bite is off, we may recommend orthodontic treatment or the use of dental crowns to improve your bite.
Orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign® can move the teeth into their desired positions, alleviating the pressure that is put on certain teeth. By shifting the teeth into alignment, even pressure is put on all of the teeth, reducing the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
In other cases, patients may have worn their molars down as a result of bruxing, throwing off the alignment of the bite. In these cases, we can place dental crowns over the damaged teeth to restore your bite alignment.
Stress Reduction Techniques
Experts believe that stress can cause patients to constantly tighten their facial muscles or clench their teeth, increasing the risk of TMJ disorder. To ease the tension that is put on the jaw joints, patients may want to look into lifestyle changes and stress reduction techniques. Making healthy lifestyle choices such as limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption can reduce bruxing and stress. Patients may also wish to participate in yoga, meditation, counseling, or other stress reduction techniques.
To learn more about your TMJ disorder treatment options, contact Premier Dental Center today.
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