TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull's temporal bone. The TMJ enables the jaw's opening, closing, and movement, enabling essential functions like talking, chewing, and yawning.
TMJ disorders, often referred to as TMD (temporomandibular disorders), encompass a range of conditions that affect the TMJ and the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tissues. These disorders can cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles controlling jaw movement. Visit Valenta Dental for the best dental care possible.
The Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Difficulty or discomfort when opening or closing the mouth
- Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds in the jaw joint
- Locking or limited movement of the jaw
- Earache or pain around the ear
- Headaches or migraines
- Facial pain or discomfort, often radiating to the neck or shoulders
- Jaw muscle stiffness or fatigue
- Changes in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together (malocclusion)
The Causes of TMJ Disorders
- Injuries to the jaw or face, such as fractures or dislocations, can lead to TMJ problems.
- Habitual teeth grinding or clenching can stress the TMJ and surrounding muscles, leading to TMJ disorders.
- Poor alignment of the teeth and jaws, also known as malocclusion, can contribute to TMJ issues.
- Emotional or psychological stress can lead to jaw clenching or tightening of the facial muscles, contributing to TMJ disorders.
Treatment for TMJ Disorders
Self-Care and Lifestyle Modifications
In mild cases of TMJ disorders, self-care measures and lifestyle modifications may be sufficient to alleviate symptoms. This can include eating soft foods, avoiding excessive jaw movements, practicing stress management techniques to reduce teeth clenching or grinding, applying ice or heat packs to the affected area, and practicing relaxation exercises.
Dentists may recommend using oral appliances, such as splints or mouthguards, to help stabilize the jaw joint, relieve pressure on the joint, and prevent teeth grinding or clenching. These appliances are custom-made to fit your mouth and are designed to be worn at specific times, such as during sleep or with increased jaw stress.
Dental treatments may sometimes be necessary to address underlying dental issues contributing to TMJ disorders. This may involve orthodontic treatment to correct misalignment, dental crowns or bridges to restore damaged teeth, or tooth replacement options, such as dental implants, if missing teeth affect the bite and jaw alignment.
It is essential to consult with our dentist in treating TMJ disorders for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. They will evaluate your symptoms, thoroughly examine them, and recommend appropriate measures to manage and alleviate your TMJ-related issues. For the best dental treatment personalized for your unique needs, visit Valenta Dental at 1838 Dunlap Ave, Marinette, WI 54143, or call (715) 735-5626.