As a dentistry practice, it’s our job to treat many parts of your mouth and jaw. It’s not just about your teeth. Our intensive study of the oral cavity makes dentists particularly well-suited for treating issues with the temporomandibular joint.
What Is The Temporomandibular Joint?
On either side of the face is a small but highly flexible joint called the Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ. They sit at the points where your jawbone connects to your temples.
The TMJ is small and sturdy, but it takes a lot of wear and tear. It is responsible for all of the movement your jaw makes, including biting, chewing, speaking, and making facial expressions. Its position, along with its tough job, makes it particularly susceptible to injury.
When TMJs become damaged, whether through accident or stress, this is called a temporomandibular disorder. Just some of the situations that can cause a TMD are as follows:
- Blunt trauma to the side of the face.
- Bruxism, which is teeth clenching/grinding.
- Jaw misalignment.
- Head and neck muscle tension.
- Cartilage loss due to age or disease.
- Some genetic factors.
No two TMDs are caused by the exact same combination of factors, which makes every case unique. However, they can share a number of symptoms. You may have a TMD if you experience some of the following:
- Pain or tenderness around the jaw.
- Pain in one or both of the TMJs.
- Tension surrounding the ears.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Pain while chewing.
- Popping or clicking when moving your jaw.
- Locking of the joint.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact us for an evaluation!
Treatment of the Temporomandibular Joint
TMDs can usually be treated non-surgically. In fact, most of the treatment options for TMJ problems involve discovering the cause of the stress on the joint and relieving that stress so that the joint can heal.
This can involve such methods as wearing a mouthguard at night to prevent bruxism or using techniques that relax the muscle tension around the area.
Call Us Today
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and believe that you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Cedar View Dental. We are more than happy to discuss your many options for treatment and to schedule you for an appointment.