Professional TMJ Treatment For Lasting Relief
Do you know the value of your temporomandibular joints? The temporomandibular joints refer to the sets of tendons and muscles that connect your jawbone to your skull and allow your jaw to move. These muscles are vital to your ability to eat, speak, and smile, but just like other muscles, they’re vulnerable to stress and damage, which can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder.
If you think you’re experiencing TMD, don’t opt to wait the symptoms out, as they may get worse. The dentists at Desert Hills Dental Care can effectively alleviate symptoms of TMD with TMJ treatment.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint disorder also known as TMD and TMJ refers to disorders of the nerves and muscles of your temporomandibular joints. Possible causes of TMD can vary widely but some common examples include:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
- Trauma to the face or jaw
- Misaligned bite
- Dislocation of the TMJ joints
- Sleep apnea
Symptoms of TMD
You may require TMJ treatment if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Headaches/ Migraines
- Pain in the face, jaw joint, and/or the ear
- Neck/shoulder/back pain
- Jaw locking when the jaw is open or closed (Tetanus)
- Facial swelling
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Uncomfortable bite
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Restricted ability or complete inability to open the mouth without pain
- Sensitive, sore, and loose teeth
- Depression due to chronic pain
- Numbness or tingling of hands or arms caused by muscle spasms
- Excessive snoring or sleep apnea due to changes in jaw position
- Bad posture
Symptoms of TMD tend to vary in type and intensity from patient to patient, but if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should contact our Farmington dental office by dialing (505) 327-4863. Our Farmington TMJ dentists can accurately diagnose your symptoms and offer effective, long-lasting relief with TMJ treatment.
Benefits of TMJ Treatment
Finding relief from TMJ problems allows many patients to finally sleep, eat, and talk without pain or clicking noises in their ears. TMJ therapy offers many additional benefits besides pain relief and internal noise reduction, including:
- Increased comfort while you sleep
- Reduced jaw stress
- Fewer headaches
- Improved jaw alignment
- Reduced risk of bruxism (jaw clenching and grinding)
- Helps prevent dental damage such as cracked, broken, and worn down teeth
At Desert Hills Dental Care, we offer relief from symptoms of TMD by correcting issues with bite and jaw alignment through oral appliance therapy and orthodontics. If necessary, your Farmington dentist will enlist the help of a specialist to address other contributing issues.
Oral Appliance Therapy With TMJ Treatment
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a mouthguard worn over the teeth. Mouthguards are custom-made pieces, commonly used to treat sleep apnea and help protect your teeth during physical sports. Your custom-made mouthguard will adjust your jaw position to alleviate pressure. Once your jaw is relaxed, injuries can begin to heal and alignment can begin to correct.
Oral appliance therapy is a non-surgical, simple, and affordable option. Almost every patient experiencing TMJ issues qualifies for oral appliance therapy. Using an oral appliance is a simple matter of wearing the mouthguard during the prescribed times and letting your body take care of the rest.
Your bite plays a major role in how your jaw operates. If your bite is misaligned, it may contribute to TMJ pain by putting excess stress on your jaw muscles. Correcting dental misalignment through means such as Invisalign may help reduce or alleviate symptoms of TMD by taking excess pressure off of your jaw.
If you still experience pain or discomfort after undergoing TMJ treatment, it likely points to an issue outside of dentistry. In that case, your Farmington TMJ dentists will refer you to a specialist who can prescribe alternative methods. Your dentist will work in concert with your specialist to ensure your treatment is effective and your relief is long-lasting.
Frequently Asked Questions
With effective TMJ treatment and proper dental care, TMD can be cured. Your dentist will tailor your treatment to your unique needs. They’ll also have you attend subsequent appointments to ensure you aren’t grinding your teeth or dealing with other issues that can cause or exacerbate your TMD symptoms.
Due to the unpredictable nature of TMD, it may not be possible to effectively treat your symptoms at home. When TMD isn’t properly diagnosed and addressed, it can worsen over time, or disappear for a while only to flare up again later on. This is why it’s so important to seek professional treatment for TMD. If you want to help control your symptoms until you can see a TMJ doctor, dentists usually recommend the following:
- Eat softer foods or stick to a liquid diet until the pain is gone
- Avoid large jaw movements such as yawning, yelling, and taking big bites
- Avoid chewing gum and biting your nails
- Use heat and cold packs on your jaw
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Sleep on your back or your side
- Avoid resting your hand on your jaw
- Practice good posture
- Ask a doctor about TMJ pain relief medications such as NSAIDs
Due to the highly invasive nature of orthognathic or jaw surgery and its low success rate, surgery is usually a last resort. Your Farmington dentist will explore other methods before suggesting jaw surgery.
Muscle relaxers may work to help alleviate stress and tension in your jaw. However, muscle relaxers are strong medications that affect more than just your jaw, and often come with serious side effects. Your TMJ dentist and any other medical professionals they work with will most likely recommend medication and treatment besides muscle relaxers.
Get The Benefits of Effective TMJ Treatment At Desert Hills Dental Care
Trying to deal with temporomandibular joint disorder on your own is likely to prove ineffective and frustrating. Desert Hills Dental Care offers an accurate diagnosis of TMD alongside effective TMJ treatment options for fast, lasting relief.
Our TMJ dentists offer treatment for TMD to patients from Farmington and surrounding areas such as Kirtland, Spencerville, and Bloomfield, NM. If you’re looking for pain relief for TMJ issues, contact our Farmington dental office by dialing (505) 327-4863. You can also request an appointment by clicking the button at the bottom of the page and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.