Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common disorder that affects a large number of people. Severe headaches, jaw pain of varying intensity, grinding teeth, and intermittent ringing in the ears are the characteristics of TMJ. A majority of people suffering from TMJ disorders are unaware that dentists can effectively treat their problems.
The symptoms of TMJ are incapacitating and can significantly hinder everyday life. The main objective of dental practice is the general well-being of a patient, and the primary consideration of a dentist is to relieve them of any pain. The dentist can diagnose, test, and conceive a treatment plan to treat the original causes of the TMJ disorder.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms of TMJ may include the following:
- A patient suffering from TMJ will experience pain in the jaw joint and chewing muscles
- There will be limited movement or locking of the jaw
- One can have constant ear pain, pressure, fullness, ringing in the ears
- A painful popping, clicking, or grating in the jaw joint can be felt when opening or closing the mouth
- The bite will not be correct
- There will be radiating pain in the neck and shoulders
- A person will also have difficulty sleeping
What is involved in treating TMJ?
TMJ could be caused due to several different problems. One of the most common reasons could include a bad bite, but another possibility is an injury incurred from a blow to the skull. The dentist will first carefully examine the patient's bite, jaw area, take x-rays, and evaluate the patient's past medical history to make a correct diagnosis and suggest the necessary treatment.
Once the TMJ disorder is firmly confirmed, it can be treated in several ways to relieve pain. A bite guard, a specially designed mouth appliance, can be fabricated to stop teeth grinding during the night. The dentist may suggest a bite relationship analysis and also offer advice on relaxation techniques to reduce the effects of stress. If required, the dentist will also prescribe muscle relaxants.
There is another alternative to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely. This treatment is commonly referred to as 'realignment' and is highly beneficial as it helps in relieving the TMJ symptoms and enhances the teeth's aesthetic appearance. The realignment process includes the adjustment between how the upper and lower teeth come together. This realignment is achieved with the assistance of new restorations or fine-tuning the natural teeth. If you are having TMJ problems, they should be treated at the earliest so that you can enjoy a pain-free life.
Call Lanham Smiles family dentistry at (301) 459-0914 or schedule an online appointment to know more about TMJ Treatment.