The Crystal Lake Dental team has the experience and credentials you should look for when considering a dentist for TMJ treatment.
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TMJ or TMD treatment
TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. This joint is what connects the lower jaw to your skull, and it enables you to open and close your mouth, as well as chew and speak. To feel this joint, simply place your finger in front of your earlobe and open your mouth.
Because the TMJ is a delicate joint, it can become damaged or inflamed easily. Should this happen, the TMJ will not move as freely as it may have before. You may experience difficulty chewing, and opening your mouth may be painful and uncomfortable.
Dentists use the term TMD or temporomandibular disorder to refer to various problems which can affect the joint. TMJ pain, or TMD, can have many causes, but the most frequent are:
The most common signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders are migraine and tension-type headaches, joint soreness, muscular pain near the joint, limited jaw movement, and a clicking or popping sound with pain when opening or closing the mouth.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please get in contact with our office today. Dr. Name will examine your mouth and TMJ to determine what’s causing your pain. He will also advise you about how to ease your discomfort.
Video 01:00 | From time to time almost everyone has experienced facial pain. It’s possible that the pain may be related to the joint located in the front of your ear called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.
Teeth grinding or bruxism
One of the most frequent causes of TMJ pain is bruxism, or grinding the teeth. Patients who suffer from bruxism either clench or grind their teeth. Bruxism tends to be more common at night, and patients often report waking up in the morning with a severe headache along with muscular pain.
The signs of bruxism can be detected by Dr. Name during a clinical examination. Patients who grind their teeth have cracks, chips and other marks of tooth wear. If Dr. Name suspects that you have bruxism, he will confirm the diagnosis with a few more questions, and then recommend that you wear a night guard.
A night guard is a plastic protective device that has been custom-made to fit over your upper or lower teeth. It prevents enamel loss caused by grinding the teeth, and keeps your teeth strong. A night guard also helps you avoid tooth sensitivity, and will help relax your facial muscles. Not all night guards will work for everyone, which is why so many different types of night guards are available.
Bruxism typically occurs during sleep, and so you may not even know that you grind your teeth. Dr. Name will look closely at your teeth for signs of bruxism and, if necessary, prescribe a night guard to protect your teeth against further damage.