Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition that includes symptoms such as include severe headaches, jaw pain, grinding of the teeth, and ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus). TMJ is a treatable condition and sufferers may not be aware that it is something their dentist can treat.

The symptoms of TMJ are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well being of the patient is at the heart of the dental practice, so pain relief is the first consideration of the dentist. The dentist is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.

What does treatment involve?

Although teeth misalignment is the most common culprit, in addition to that another possibility is an injury to the connective tissue of the articular disk. First, the dentist will examine the jaw, the patient’s bite and tooth alignment, conduct x-rays, and thoroughly review the patient’s medical history, in order to make the diagnosis and proceed to treatment options.

Upon positively diagnosing the patient, there are several avenues of treatment. A molded bite guard, specially molded to the patient’s teeth, will stop nightly tooth-grinding, and there are also relaxation techniques that can be employed by the patient that will help lessen the effects of stress. Third, the dentist may also elect to prescribe muscle relaxants.

A final, and best option is bite realignment. This will alleviate TMJ symptoms as well as improve the general aesthetics of the patient’s teeth. Realignment entails adjusting how the upper teeth interlock and fit together with the lower teeth, which can also involve new restoration or adjusting the existing, natural teeth. The procedure is not painful, and is one the dentist has successfully performed numerous times. The dentist will be more than happy to answer any questions the patient may have, as well as discuss treatment options, symptoms, and concerns.

If you are experiencing any TMJ symptoms, we encourage you to contact us today and schedule an appointment.

Reasons for treating TMJ

Sufferers typically report that symptoms grow more severe during times of stress, whether sudden or prolonged, which can lead to dizziness and neck pain. Most commonly, TMJ can be attributed to misalignment of the teeth, which is a problem the dentist will be able to remedy. A patient’s teeth can be realigned and adjusted, without expensive or invasive surgeries, in order to stop their headaches and jaw pain.

Particularly common is the symptom of grinding one’s teeth, which typically occurs at night while the sufferer is asleep. The grinding causes tooth erosion and may lead to worsening dental problems in the future, including eroded jawbones and loose teeth.