Treating TMJ Disorders The Right Way
We have all had a sore jaw at some point. Maybe it’s because you ate too much chewy, sticky Halloween candy, or maybe it’s just something that is a regular part of your life.
If it’s the former, please let that be a lesson about how much candy is too much. If it’s the latter, you should call our office. You may be suffering from a TMJ disorder, and you should not have to live with that any longer.
Our staff at Hubbard and Leath Dental can provide a TMJ treatment that will end your discomfort. If you are ready to end your pain, please come see us at our office in Rochester Hills.
Symptoms of TMD
TMJ disorders, or TMD, start with your temporomandibular joint. TMJ is an abbreviation for this joint, which allows you to open and close your mouth. This acts as a hinge so you can chew your food and talk.
Pain in your jaw is a common symptom of TMD. You may feel this pain while you are eating, after you are finished eating, or even when you are having a conversation. We don’t have to explain how this makes your life more difficult, especially if you know from firsthand experience.
You might feel this pain in your jaw. You might feel this pain on one side of your mouth or the other. This pain may also spread to other muscles near your jaw in your face, neck, and shoulders.
You could be suffering from headaches, earaches, or tinnitis (ringing in the ear). All of these also could be symptoms of a TMJ disorder.
In some cases, TMD can affect your ability to move your jaw. You may only have limited movement of your jaw, or your jaw could become stuck in an open or closed position. This can be embarrassing as well as uncomfortable.
Even if you don’t experience pain, you may feel a clicking or popping sensation as you open and close your jaw. Again, this happens to many people from time to time, but if it’s a regular part of your life, you may have a TMJ disorder.
Diagnosing and treating TMD
The good news is our dentists can treat your TMD. Once we diagnose the source of your problem, we can find a solution to help you feel better.
Some common causes of TMJ disorders are:
• Bruxism. This is a technical term for grinding or clenching your teeth. When you do this, you are putting added pressure and stress on your temporomandibular joint.
The worst part is you may not realize that you are doing this. Many people grind their teeth when they are asleep. Other people will clench their teeth unconsciously when they feel stressed or anxious about personal or work issues.
• Structural problems. Believe it or not, our bodies are not perfect. For some people this is relatively harmless, like one foot being a little bigger than the other. For others, it means they have a problem with the ball-and-socket joints in their mouths.
• Injuries. Your jaw may have been changed if you’ve been in an accident or you have been injured playing sports, for example. This may have changed the position of your jaw or affected the muscles around your jaw.
• Arthritis. This doesn’t just affect your hands and knees. Arthritis can affect any joint in our bodies, including our jaw.
Once we understand the source of your TMD, we can take steps to fix it. Often, we can resolve the problem by creating a splint or mouthpiece that you can wear at home.
While you wear your mouthpiece or splint, you will not be able to press your upper and lower teeth together. For people who grind their teeth in their sleep, this can keep your jaw in a more relaxed position.
In many cases, the splint or mouthpiece is enough to address our patients’ problems. With time, this will ease your pain and help your jaw feel more relaxed.
Unfortunately, some patients have more severe cases of TMD than a mouthpiece can fix. In those situations, we will work with you to find the treatment that will end your suffering.
Get your life back without the pain
There’s no way around it. Living with a TMJ disorder can be painful, embarrassing, and difficult. It may affect what and when you eat. It may affect when you feel like talking, too.
When you are ready to end the pain, make plans to visit our office soon. Hubbard and Leath Dental is located at 2565 South Rochester Road in Rochester Hills. If you live within driving distance, call us at 248.266.2528 or use our online form to schedule your appointment.