“TMJ” is a common term used to refer to a disorder in the temporomandibular joint. It’s more accurately known as TMJD or TMD.
What causes TMD/TMJ? Usually, an improperly aligned teeth that lead to an unbalanced bite. A misaligned bite causes symptoms such as pain in the jaw, popping, or soreness. Someone that suffers from TMJ may have difficulty opening their mouth wide. Pain in the jaw, by the ear, along with headaches are also common. Chewing gum or hard, sticky foods can lead to additional strain in the joint.
Will I Need Surgery to Fix TMD/TMJ?
In severe cases one will have to undergo surgery to have the problem corrected. However, there are non-surgical treatment options available that are very effective.
Some non-surgical options are the use of a splint, also known as a mouthpiece or night guard. A splint is a hard acrylic custom fitted appliance that holds your jaw in a relaxed position. It is mostly worn at night and it will take the strain off of the jaw muscles that tend to clench and strain the TMJ. Over the counter splints are available at an affordable cost, however, the one provided by our Somerville dentist will fit much better and last far longer.
Preventing TMJ Pain
Neuromuscular dentistry exists to correct bite misalignments and produce a balanced bite. Our dentist will do this by using special equipment to evaluate biting patterns and muscle movements. After finding the best position, we will discuss options such as restorative and/or orthodontic treatment that will allow your jaw to remain in its’ ideal position. This eliminates the pain caused by TMJ disorder.
Somersmiles Dental in Somerville also uses injectables to help with TMJ symptoms. Botox can be placed in the jaw muscles, relaxing them for several months at a time, alleviating the pain from TMJ. If this option appeals to you, call our office today for a consultation.
The team at Somersmiles Dental is happy to give you a recommendation based on your particular situation. Schedule a consultation today!