Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a very common condition effecting people all over the world. TMJ is generally diagnosed after patient complaints of jaw pain, headaches, grinding teeth, and ringing in the ears. Most people do not understand that TMJ is treatable by a dentist, and by simply letting your dentist know about your pain the condition may be able to be treated.
TMJ causes debilitating pain, so the majority of treatment measures by dentists involve pain relief measures.
Reasons for treating TMJ
TMJ patients will generally notice an increase in symptoms during stressful periods, many times seeing their typical symptoms become even more painful with dizziness and neck pain. A misalignment of the teeth when biting is the most common cause of TMJ, and many times the teeth can be re-aligned without expensive surgeries, reducing pain significantly or even eliminating it all together. Grinding of the teeth at night is another common symptom of TMJ, which causes not only jaw pain but also destruction of the surfaces of the teeth. This can lead to eroding of the jaw bone as well as loosening of the teeth. This symptom can be treated inexpensively with mouth guards or other nighttime appliances.
It is important to accurately diagnose TMJ, so if you believe you have any symptoms contact your dentist as soon as possible.
What does treating TMJ involve?
There are numerous causes that can result in TMJ, most commonly a “bad bite” or jaw damage due to trauma. The initial examination by the dentist involves examining the jaw, bite, x-rays and a thorough review of patient history. Once TMJ has been diagnosed, a proper plan will be developed to relieve pain and treat symptoms. The mouth guard will be a typical suggestion in order to prevent grinding, and bite correction may be accomplished several different ways. Stress reduction through relaxation exercises as well as muscle relaxants may be prescribed.
The most effective method of treating TMJ is through bite realignment. This may involve restorations of the teeth or realigning the natural teeth so the upper and lower teeth come together more appropriately when biting or chewing. Generally involving little to no pain, the ultimate outcome is not only a physically more pleasing appearance but also a relieving of pain and associated symptoms.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.