TMJ stands for, which is essentially a hinge connecting the jaw to the skull. The TMJ is also responsible for controlling jaw and facial movement, which is why people living with TMJ often experience health problems. If you have any questions or concerns about TMJ disorder, please contact our dental office.
In this blog post, our TMJ disorder dentists at Lake Michigan Dental will go over some of the most commonly asked questions from patients with . If you suspect an issue with your jaw, we recommend you schedule an appointment with an experienced Grand Rapids dentists as soon as possible.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
Depending on your patient history, it may be difficult for your dentist to identity the exact cause of your medical condition. There are many different factors which affect the TMJ or cause TMJ disorder to worsen. For example, patients who have recently sustained an injury to the jaw joint are at an increased risk for TMJ disorder.
You may also be experiencing TMJ disorder because of teeth grinding or even arthritis. Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can especially affect the TMJ because they cause joint inflammation and stiffness. Since there are many, it can be difficult determining why you’re experiencing jaw joint pain.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Below are some of the common:
- Neck aches
- Clicking jaw joint
- Facial tenderness or pain
If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself, we recommend seeing an experienced Grand Rapids MI dentist who is knowledgeable in TMJ bite splint therapy. Not sure if what you’re experiencing is due to TMJ disorder? We recommend still scheduling an appointment with a TMJ dentist in your area. The dentist will be able to examine your teeth and take dental x-rays to see if there are any problems with your jaw joint.
Dental Treatment of TMJ Disorder
Most patients are able to continue living productive lives by properly managing TMJ disorder symptoms. However, if you have severe symptoms that interfere with your quality of life or notice a worsening of symptoms, you may need surgical intervention. In that case, you would need to consult with your primary care physician to determine if surgery is the best treatment option to alleviate your symptoms. Surgery is a last-resort option after other pain management tactics have failed.
The vast majority of people living with TMJ disorder are able to manage the symptoms and pain so they can continue living normal lives. Below, we have listed our recommendations for managing your TMJ disorder symptoms.
- Prevent teeth grinding by wearing a mouth guard when you sleep.
- Use muscle relaxants to calm jaw muscles.
- Decrease inflammation with low-level laser therapy.
Our Grand Rapids TMJ dentists at Lake Michigan Dental will be able to recommend a plan that works for your unique circumstances. For example, if nighttime teeth grinding is the root cause of your TMJ disorder, you may be given a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.
If you are interested in learning more about dental treatments for TMJ disorder, please feel free to call our Grand Rapids MI dentists at (616) 453-8211. Our Grand Rapids dentists at Lake Michigan Dental strive to help patients understand medical conditions affecting oral health.