TMJ Disorder Treatment
What Is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular Joints are located towards the back of your lower jaw, connecting the jaw to the skull. With one joint on either side of the face, in front of the ear, these joints are responsible for making movements required for speaking, eating and facial expression possible. The TMJ Disorder involves the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) and the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels associated with them. It’s often quite painful, but luckily it can be managed with the right treatments if intercepted by our dental professionals.
You may have TMJ Disorder if you experience any of the following:
- pain in the jaw joint
- ringing in the ears
- clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint
- locking of the jaw when attempting to open the mouth
- neck, shoulder, and back pains
- swelling of the sides of the face
- inability to open the mouth comfortably
Causes of TMJ Disorder
- Bruxism (grinding of teeth)
- Wear and tear of the joint
- Injury or trauma to the jaw, head or neck
- Misaligned teeth
- Uneven bite
- Poor head or neck posture
- Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or fibromyalgia
Treatment of TMJ Disorder
Treatment doesn’t just apply to dental procedures and appliances, there are a few adjustments you can make to your lifestyle as well to help manage this disorder:
- Self-care practices, such as eating soft foods, using heat packs, and avoiding extreme movements like yawning and gum chewing
- Occlusal Adjustments, where teeth are ground down to bring the bite into balance
- Repositioning of the jaw using a night guard (Occlusal Splint)
- Prescription medication such as anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxants
- Stress management such as counselling and Yoga
- Surgical treatment
- Orthodontic treatment
Why Is It Important To Treat TMJ Disorders?
Treating TMJ disorders is crucial because they can significantly impact your quality of life by causing pain, discomfort, and difficulties in eating, speaking, and daily activities.
By addressing these issues, you can reduce pain, improve jaw function, prevent long-term complications, and enhance your overall quality of life. Early treatment can also help avoid muscle strain, reliance on pain medications, and more serious joint problems.
How Is Bruxism Related To TMJD?
Bruxism is excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth that is not a part of normal chewing movements. It is an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their life. Clenching and grinding may occur during the day or at night. Bruxism during sleep causes the majority of health and oral complaints. Bruxers (persons with bruxism) are often unaware that they developed this habit and often do not know that treatment is available until damage to the mouth and teeth has occurred.
A combination of physical and psychological factors contribute to bruxism.
The excessive clenching or grinding of teeth can cause tooth problems and eventually jaw joint problems, which means Bruxism may potentially be a factor causing TMJ Disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
These may vary according to the nature, frequency, duration, and strength of excessive clenching and grinding, but the general symptoms are:
- pain in the teeth
- sensitivity to hot and cold
- chronic facial pain with tension headache
- stiffness and pain in the jaw joints (TMJ) and muscles with restricted opening of the mouth and difficulty in chewing
- flattened and worn tooth surface
- microfractures of the tooth enamel
- noise that occurs when the teeth are ground together, witnessed by partners, relatives, or friends
Bruxism diagnosis is based on clinical examination and dental and medical history. This is assessed by the location of the pain, stiffness or soreness, the range of jaw movements, and tooth wear.
Treatment for Bruxism
- Behaviour Modification: teaching the patient how to rest his/her tongue teeth and lips
- Occlusal Splint (also called night guard): a specially-fitted plastic mouth appliance worn at night to even the force of biting. It also prevents further wear of the teeth surfaces
- Biofeedback: This is when a special electronic device measures how much your mouth and jaw muscles are working. If you’re using these muscles too much, the device shows you, helping you change that behaviour
- Reduce the consumption of caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
- Perform muscle relaxation exercises or hold a warm washcloth against your cheek.
Why Choose Melton Dental?
Is the pain of TMJ Disorder affecting your daily life and making sleeping, eating, and drinking difficult? At Melton Dental Group, we want to help you alleviate your pain so you can go about your daily activities without a worry. So, if you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ disorder and Bruxism or any other dental problem, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our friendly dentists. We offer a comprehensive range of treatments from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry and much more to suit your individual needs.
You no longer have to put up with the pain! Our experienced dental staff at Melton Dental Group can assess and treat your TMJ Disorder with outstanding results. Call today to make your appointment.
Our hours are Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs: 8:15 am to 7 pm, Fri: 8:15 am to 6 pm, and Sat: 9 am to 12 pm.