Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a chronic jaw condition that leads to pain, tenderness, and frequent headaches. Because untreated TMJ can lead to joint problems and tooth erosion, James Hill, DDS, and the team at Madison Lakes Dental, Wisconsin, provide the most up-to-date treatment solutions available. Click on the online scheduling tool or call the office to book your TMJ evaluation today.
TMJ Q & A
What causes TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the jaw joints you have on either side of your face. These joints allow you to open and close your mouth and shift your lower jaw from side to side. Even though the bones, connective tissues, and cushioning discs that make up your jaw joints are durable and built to withstand great force, they can certainly wear down over time.
Some of the most common causes and risk factors for TMJ include:
- Clenching or grinding (bruxism)
- Jaw misalignment
TMJ disorders are also sometimes linked to connective tissue diseases or deterioration that weaken your joints.
When should I see a dentist for TMJ?
Prompt dental intervention is important when you have TMJ issues. Without proper treatments, your TMJ disorder can lead to joint dislocation, tooth erosion, and even fractured teeth, among other issues. The team at Madison Lakes Dental encourage you to schedule a TMJ examination if you have any of the following issues:
- Jaw joint stiffness or lockjaw
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Neck pain or frequent headaches
- Facial pain or tenderness, especially near your ears
You may also find that you develop a grating sensation or clicking noise when you open and close your mouth. These TMJ symptoms, even if they seem minor now, need to be treated as soon as possible.
How does a dentist treat TMJ?
To treat temporomandibular joint disorder, the team at Madison Lakes Dental performs comprehensive diagnostic evaluations. After gathering digital X-ray images, your dentist examines your jaw functions and discusses your symptoms with you to determine which course of treatment may be most effective.
One of the more modern treatments for TMJ is Botox® injections. Botox relaxes your jaw muscles and is known to prevent chronic jaw joint discomfort.
You may also benefit from an occlusal appliance or mouthguard you wear while you sleep. This oral appliance, which is custom-designed for you, prevents clenching and grinding. A night guard is one of the most effective ways to not only treat TMJ, but also to protect your teeth if you grind them while you sleep.
Book your TMJ evaluation at Madison Lakes Dental directly through the website today. Click on the online booking tool or call to schedule by phone.