TMJ Disorder Treatment

People of all ages suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. From children to seniors, anyone can experience jaw muscle and joint dysfunction. Varying levels of severity may result in anything from occasional discomfort to constant pain.

This all originates in the temporomandibular joints that connect the jaw bone and skull. Located in front of each ear, these ball-and socket joints only work well if they are properly aligned.

Causes of TMD can include many factors:

  • Malocclusion (poor alignment of teeth)
  • Stress-induced jaw clenching, or bruxism
  • Muscle spasms
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Lost or crooked teeth
  • Overbite

If left untreated, TMD causes the body to take on unnatural positions as compensation for the misalignment. This compensation can cause pain and negative effects in your neck or jaw, as well as throughout your body. Thus, it’s important to receive professional TMJ treatment.

Common symptoms of TMD vary but usually consist of:

  • Popping, crunching, or clicking noises
  • Limited opening range
  • Facial main and muscle fatigue
  • Ear-ringing
  • Headaches
  • Ear pain unrelated to infections
  • Pain when the jaw is fully open
  • Occasional jaw locking
  • Clenching or teeth grinding

Dentists are only one of many professionals that may treat your condition. If your causes aren’t dental, you’ll need to consult a different health care professional. But if your causes are dental, your dentist will perform the following TMJ treatment:

  • A full dental exam
  • X-rays
  • Dental casts
  • Restorative procedures

Dentists often prescribe muscle relaxants and medication to reduce pain and tightness. Your dentist may also fashion an orthotic to re-align your teeth. In some cases, surgery becomes a necessary last resort. If you suffer from jaw or facial pain, seek immediate dental TMJ treatment. For more information, refer to the following document.