WEST BOCA DENTAL CARE
Boca Raton's TMJ Specialist
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a complex structure that connects your jaw and skull. It is lined with muscles and ligaments that help you open and close your mouth, chew, speak, and yawn. You can experience TMJ problems when your jaw is not working properly.
This may cause pain, tingling, clicking, or locking. TMJ problems refer to any condition that affects the joints between the upper part (temporal) of one's skull and the lower part (mandible) of one's mouth or jaws. It is usually associated with a problem in the muscles or nerves that hold the jaw in place.
At West Boca Dental Care, we're here to help with any TMJ questions you may have. Contact us today to schedule your TMJ consultation.
TMJ problems are usually caused by abnormal wear and tear on the joint. This can result from:
TMJ problems can be caused by a chipped tooth, misaligned teeth, or dental problems in the jaw bone. If a tooth is loose or cracked, it can cause nerve damage, leading to TMJ pain.
TMJ pain is often caused by a problem in the jaw bone. When your jaw doesn't work properly, your muscles and ligaments may be unable to handle all the stress they are under. This leads to injury and inflammation of these tissues. Over time, this can lead to discomfort in your mouth or face.
TMJ problems can also be caused by a problem with the muscles and nerves that hold your jaw in place (the temporomandibular joint). This can happen when one of the joints (jaw joint) becomes loose or wears out.
This problem may also be caused by injury to other structures in the mouth, such as teeth, lips, or face. In some cases, TMJ problems are caused by other medical conditions. For example, TMJ problems may be related to arthritis or an infection.
The symptoms of TMJ vary depending on where your symptoms are located in your jaw. The most common symptoms are:
- Pain in the face, jaw, or ear.
- Pain that worsens when you open your mouth wide, such as yawning or smiling.
- Pain that gets worse when you lie down or sleep on your side.
- Pain that gets worse when you put pressure on your jaw or chew on something.
- Swelling, stiffness, or decreased range of motion in the face or jaw.
A dentist or an oral surgeon typically helps diagnose TMJ problems. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be referred to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist for more testing and treatment. You may also be referred to a dentist for treatment when your symptoms interfere with your daily life.
If you have a TMJ problem, your dentist can help diagnose your symptoms and determine the best treatment for you. Your dentist may also ask you to try various types of treatment (such as splints, braces, or other oral appliances) to see which one works best for you.
Treatment for TMJ
Treatment for TMJ problems depends on what is wrong and how severe the condition is. The most common treatment for TMJ problems is:
If your TMJ symptoms result from arthritis or an infection, you may need treatment to reduce pain and inflammation. Treatment options include medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescription corticosteroids.
Your dentist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or other pain relievers to relieve your pain.
If you have severe TMJ problems, your dentist may recommend surgery to treat a TMJ problem. A periodontist or orthodontist usually performs this type of surgery.
3. Oral appliances
Some people find that oral appliances help relieve their TMJ symptoms. Oral appliances are plastic devices that keep your teeth in place while healing. For example, splints correct jaw movement problems, including bite misalignment, misaligned teeth, and TMJ pain.
Splints are usually made of hard plastic and fit directly over the teeth to control jaw movement. These splints usually stay in place for about six months, after which they can be removed or replaced with a new splint.
4. Physical therapy
Physical therapy can help you improve your muscle tone and your jaw movement. This is a non-surgical or medical treatment that helps strengthen your muscles and improve the way you move your jaw. Physical therapy is usually recommended for those with moderate to severe TMJ problems.