TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. This dysfunction syndrome is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. Majority of TMJ sufferers are unaware that a dentist can effectively treat the root cause of these problems.
TThe symptoms of TMJ are quite debilitating and can greatly interfere with everyday life. The dental practice is mostly concerned about the comfort and general wellbeing of the patient. Therefore, pain relief is the first consideration of the dentist. Thereafter, the dentist is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.
Reasons for treating TMJ
The sufferers of TMJ report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.
The misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite” is the most common cause of TMJ. It is possible for the dentist to realign or adjust the teeth without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. This therapy will stop the pounding headaches, the jaw pain, and the dizziness.
The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMJ is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.
It is important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of TMJ to visit the dentist for an exact diagnosis.
What does treating TMJ involve?
Bad bite is the most common cause of TMJ. However, an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. In order to start the treatment, the dentist will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patient’s bite, take X-rays, and review the patient’s history to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.
Whenever a firm diagnosis is attained, there are several ways in which relief can be provided. A specially molded bite guard can be created to stop teeth grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended by the dentist. The dentist can also provide advice on relaxation techniques which will lessen the effects of stress. As an alternative, the dentist is also able to prescribe muscle relaxants.
A better option is to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely, often called “realignment.” This is especially useful because it alleviates TMJ symptoms and may improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Realignment involves adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth come together with the lower teeth. This may require new restorations and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well. It is not a painful procedure, and it is one the dentist has performed with great success numerous times. As with any procedure, the dentist will be happy to answer questions and discuss symptoms, options, and treatments.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.