TMJ Treatment in Reno
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or also known as TMJ, is the initialism for temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint controls many jaw functions, like chewing. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding.
Some of the Symptoms of TMJ and TMD Include:
- Pain when opening or closing mouth
- Trouble chewing
- Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
- Headaches or ear pain
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
- Teeth Grinding
Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMD. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding.
How Can You Treat TMJ?
Your dentist will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw. Your doctor will listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth, observe the range of motion in your jaw, and press around your jaw to identify any pain or discomfort.
If your’re suspected of having TMJ, you may need dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw, a CT scan of the bones involved in the joint, or an MRI to reveal problems with the surrounding soft tissue.
Properly diagnosing and treating TMJ can help ease the following symptoms:
- Jaw noise
- Muscle tension
Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms.
If your TMJ stems from teeth grinding or clenching, your dentist may recommend that you wear a custom mouth guard at night. This dental appliance will keep your upper teeth from grinding against your lower teeth. Along with helping to alleviate TMJ symptoms and pain, this guard will prevent wear on your teeth from grinding that can lead to other problems.
In very severe cases of TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.
Do You Have TMJ or TMD?
If you suspect you may have TMD, it’s time to come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms.