When the jaw joint and the corresponding muscles of the head, face, and neck functions abnormally, the resulting conditions are referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Also known as TMJ or TMD, the disorder contributes to a host of uncomfortable signs and symptoms.
The jaw joint functions like a hinge as it connects to the skull just below the ears. The muscles that support the joint are designed to perform specific duties that allow us to open and close for eating and chewing.
Generally, your oral surgeon will suggest a conservative approach to restoring your TMJ health.
When the muscles and joints are not operating properly, you may begin to notice a number of symptoms. An evaluation by our oral surgeon who has experience treating TMJ in Dallas can provide the most accurate diagnosis of this disorder.
TMJ disorder is most often caused by a habit of clenching and grinding of the teeth, known as bruxism. This repeated and excessive force can lead to damaged teeth and gums, as well as stress on the jaw joint. You may want to schedule an evaluation if you have noticed these symptoms:
- Frequent headaches and/or neck aches
- Sore or tired jaws
- Difficulty opening or lockjaw
- Flattened or chipped teeth
- Popping or clicking in the jaw joint
Following your evaluation, your oral surgeon may recommend a combination of treatment options. It is important to determine the exact cause of your TMJ disorder and seek the appropriate treatment. This will protect your joints, teeth, and gums, as well as prevent further damage and discomfort.
Generally, your oral surgeon will suggest a conservative approach to restoring your TMJ health. Meditation and relaxation can be effective for preventing clenching and grinding. Various forms of behavior modification can also help to correct the habits that damage the joints.
Custom bite guards or night guards may be recommended for uncontrollable bruxism. These appliances also help to properly position the jaw joint, relieving stress and allowing the muscles to relax. In addition, conservative adjustments to your bite can be helpful.
In the event that non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, your oral surgeon may recommend a surgical procedure. Typically, the earlier your TMJ symptoms are detected, the greater your chances for successful, non-surgical therapy. Consult with our experienced team of oral surgeons today for more information regarding your treatment options.