Temporomandibular joint disorder, better known as TMJ disorder, is a condition that can affect the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. There are two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of the jaw. These complex joints act both as hinges to allow the mouth to open and close and as slides that make it possible for people to speak, yawn, and eat more easily. TMJ disorders can cause moderate to severe pain. Working with a qualified orthodontist in [GEOID] is a practical way to diagnose, treat, and resolve TMJ issues to help you feel better quickly.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
In general terms, misalignments of the moving parts of the temporomandibular joint are the immediate reasons for TMJ disorder. A large percentage of cases of TMJ disorder can be attributed to bruxism, which is the scientific term for grinding your teeth at night or habitually. Bruxism can cause damage to teeth and can lead to imbalances in pressure in the TMJ. Over time, grinding or clenching your teeth can cause damage to the muscles and ligaments that support the temporomandibular joint. Bruxism can also cause inflammation that can cause severe pain for patients suffering from this serious condition.
Experiencing stress also can lead to unconscious clenching of the jaw during the day and grinding of the teeth during sleep. In some cases, reducing the cause of the stress can lower the pressure on the jaw, allowing for healing and reducing pain for patients who are suffering from TMJ disorder in [GEOID].
Arthritis of the joints can also be responsible for some cases of TMJ disorder. Because arthritis is an inflammatory condition, it can cause the soft tissues of the joint to swell. This, in turn, can cause the bones and muscles to move out of place, causing pain and resulting in the misalignment of the TMJ for reduced function of this area of the mouth. Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can also lead to issues in other parts of the body.
Some people may be at higher risk of developing TMJ disorders. Patients who have connective tissue diseases or previous injuries to the jaw, for example, are more likely to suffer from TMJ disorders. Genetic factors may also play a role in determining who will develop disorders of the temporomandibular joint. Pain in the jaw should always be addressed by a trip to an orthodontist in [GEOID] to determine the underlying cause of the pain and to treat it effectively.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
While pain is a primary symptom of TMJ disorders, other symptoms can also serve as early warning signals of this condition. Some of the most common signs that you may be suffering from TMJ misalignment or disorder are listed here:
- Headaches and discomfort in the jaw
- Radiating pain in the face, shoulders, or neck
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Clicks or pops when opening or closing your mouth
- Pain when chewing or speaking
- Dizziness or a feeling of vertigo
- Sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure that has no previous explanation
- Changes in the way upper and lower teeth meet each other
- Pain or limitations in the range of motion for your jaw and mouth
- Locking up of the jaw
At [OFFICE], our team can offer the best orthodontic services in [GEOID] to help you deal with TMJ disorders quickly and effectively. We can help you find treatments that work for you to relieve pain and to eliminate problems with your
Treatments for TMJ Disorders
The orthodontists at [OFFICE] can provide you with treatment options that will address the underlying causes of your issues and will help you to feel better quickly. We will diagnose your issue accurately and will design an orthodontic treatment plan that is precisely right for your needs. Some of the treatments we offer include the following:
- Night guards: Dental guards are a great solution for preventing damage to your teeth and reducing the effects of TMJ disorders on your jaw. These guards fit neatly and snugly over your teeth to cushion them and to reduce the damage caused by clenching or grinding your teeth. At [OFFICE], our dental team can provide custom-fitted night guards that will prevent you from unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep, both of which are known as contributing factors to cases of TMJ disorder.
- Orthodontic braces: Misalignments of the teeth can often play a role in the development of disorders of the temporomandibular joint. At [OFFICE], our orthodontist in [GEOID] can provide you with practical help in correcting misalignments. Braces can help to eliminate misalignment issues that can often cause or worsen TMJ problems for you or your family members.
- Splints: The orthodontic team at [OFFICE] can provide you with splints, which are appliances that can be removed and that fit onto the teeth to improve alignment and to reduce pain and discomfort caused by TMJ problems. Your orthodontists in [GEOID] will provide you with clear instructions about how and for how long to wear these splints.
Our orthodontists can also provide you with guidance and medications that can address issues with pain and discomfort caused by TMJ misalignments and disorders.
Our Orthodontists in [GEOID] Can Provide the Best Solutions for TMJ Disorders
If you need practical help to manage pain or to correct the underlying conditions that can cause disorders of the temporomandibular joint, [OFFICE] can help you. Our dentists and orthodontists in [GEOID] have the experience and the proven expertise you need to feel better quickly. Call us today at [PHONE] or stop by our office to schedule an appointment with our team. We are here to serve you.