Do you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, or facial pain? It may be a problem with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and your jaw muscles. At Washington Court House Dental, we provide TMJ treatments to alleviate the symptoms of this often-debilitating condition.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to the skull and allows the lower jaw (mandibular) to move and function. The joints can be found on both sides of your head in front of your ears, and allow you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk or chew. Any problem with your TMJs is referred to as TMD disorders and occurs when the muscles and ligaments around your jaw joints become inflamed or irritated. This condition can cause tenderness in the joints, difficulty moving the joint, and mild or severe pain.
The symptoms of TMJ/TMD disorders depend on the cause and severity of your condition. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles
- Pain that spreads to the face or neck
- Jaw stiffness
- Headaches and vertigo
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Painful clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
- Ringing in the ears, hearing loss, or dizziness
- A change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
- Chipped teeth
What Causes TMJ/TMD?
The exact cause of TMJ/TMD disorder is often difficult to determine.
- Grinding/clenching teeth: Bruxism (habitual, involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth) can cause excessive strain on the jaw joints and the muscle surrounding the TMJs.
- Jaw, head, or neck injury: Injury to your jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck, such as from a heavy blow or whiplash, can also lead to TMD.
- Poor tooth/jaw alignment: Misaligned teeth can negatively affect the placement of your jaw, which can cause TMD.
- Arthritis or other medical conditions: Arthritis and displacement of the jaw joint disks can also cause TMD pain. In some cases, other medical conditions such as osteoporosis can cause jaw disc erosion, leading to TMD.
TMJ Treatment at Washington Court House Dental
If you are experiencing any of the TMJ/TMD symptoms, Washington Court House Dental offers TTMJ treatments that can help relieve the symptoms and the pain associated with TMJ. Our experienced dentists will ask you about your symptoms, carefully examine your teeth, bite, and jaw function, conduct diagnostic tests such as dental x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans, and create a customized treatment plan for you.
Our TMJ treatment options include:
Also called a night guard or splint, an occlusal guard is a mouthpiece that fits over your upper or lower teeth, providing a cushion for your jaw and teeth and relieving some of the pressure. It is a great option for treating TMJ because it protects the teeth and jaw, relieves pain, and prevents future injury. An occlusal guard effectively treats TMJ by adjusting your teeth and jaw to correct your bite, preventing bruxism or teeth grinding/clenching, preventing the jaw from locking/clicking, and reducing clenching and assisting the facial muscles to relax.
While there are over-the-counter occlusal guards, a custom-fit nightguard or splint is the best option to ensure that your TMJ is treated in the safest, fastest, and most comfortable way possible. We will take an impression of your teeth to create a mouthguard of the right fit and features to treat your specific condition.
If you have uneven teeth or significant upper or lower jaw misalignment, we may recommend bite correction as part of your TMJ treatment plan. Orthodontic treatments can realign the positioning of your jaw and teeth, so they come together at the proper anatomical locations. We can replace missing teeth and use crowns, bridges, or braces to balance your teeth’ biting surfaces or correct a bite problem.
TMJ Treatment Cost
The cost of TMJ treatment varies depending on several factors, such as the severity of your condition and the type of treatment you require. Luckily, most dental insurance providers cover all or a portion of TMJ treatment.
TMJ Treatment in Washington Court House, OH
If you’ve been suffering from jaw pain, headaches, earaches, limited mouth motions, and jaw clicking, popping, or locking, contact us today to schedule an appointment with our TMJ specialist. We will examine you and create a personalized dental treatment plan for you.