The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a sliding hinge that connects your skull to your jawbone. You have two TMJs, one on either side of your face, and each is responsible for moving your jawbone, helping you chew and speak properly.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to a range of problems that affect these joints, causing pain, stiffness, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMD can affect one or both sides of your jaw, causing a variety of symptoms including:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw, neck, face, or ears
- Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulty chewing
- Trouble opening and closing the mouth
- Grinding, clicking, or popping noises in the jaw
- Grating sensation when moving the joints
- Bruxism (grinding teeth and/or clenching the jaw)
- Sleep bruxism
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of TMD, you don’t have to continue suffering. We recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our dentists right away.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorders occur when problems develop with the temporomandibular joints, such as the erosion of the joint’s disc or the deterioration of the cartilage that lubricates the joint. The exact cause of TMJ disorder is not known, but a variety of factors seem to correlate with the development of TMD including:
- Jaw injury
- Chronic teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Certain diseases of the connective tissues
Additionally, women and individuals between the ages of 20 and 40 are at the highest risk of developing TMJ disorders.
How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
To diagnose TMD, our dentists will talk with you about your symptoms and press on various locations around your jaw to determine where you are most tender. We will also ask you to move your jaw so we can observe your range of motion while listening for sounds and feeling for sensations that could indicate TMD, such as grinding, popping, or clicking.
We will also likely take a set of digital x-rays to examine the structure of your jawbone and temporomandibular joints.
Treatments for TMJ Disorder at Eastgate Dental Excellence
There are a variety of approaches available for treating TMJ disorders and alleviating symptoms. TMJ disorder treatments include:
- Oral appliances to correct malocclusion
- Custom-designed mouthguards to prevent the clenching and grinding that can lead to TMJ problems
- TENS therapy
- Corrective surgery
- Botox injections with Dr. Daniel Kelley to alleviate pain
With the variety of treatments available in our office, our team can help you find relief. In addition to professional TMJ disorder treatments, we might also recommend at-home approaches such as hot and cold compresses, stress relief, over-the-counter medications, improving posture, and reducing over-use by avoiding chewing gum and other tough-to-chew foods.
At Eastgate Dental Excellence, our dentists work with each patient individually to determine the best course of treatment for TMJ disorders.
After diagnosing and further assessing your condition with diagnostic imaging, we might recommend a range of treatments designed to relieve pain and alleviate other symptoms, mitigate clenching, and possibly correct the jawbone’s alignment.
To learn more or schedule a TMJ examination, we welcome you to contact our office today.
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3241 Mount Carmel Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244