TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joints that are found at the point on each side of your face where your top and bottom jaw open from each other. If you have pain, discomfort or a lack of function in the TMJ, a dentist is one of the main types of medical professionals you can turn to for help.
We offer TMJ treatment to our patients at Linworth Family Dental. Our goal is to offer you high-quality, affordable treatment that improves your oral health and life, all in a friendly and relaxing environment.
What Are TMJ Problems?
The joints, ligaments and muscles in the TMJ area are responsible for your jaw movements as you eat and talk. While the TMJ supports these important functions, it can develop problems that prevent it from working properly, similarly to other joints in your body.
The movements of the TMJ involve many working parts in tandem, so problems with one part can throw off the whole system. This results in a TMJ disorder, which can include symptoms like pain, popping, clicking, tenderness and the lack of range of motion. Symptoms often go beyond the jaw to include headaches, ear pain, and neck and shoulder pain.
TMJ disorders have various causes. These might include the alignment of your teeth and bite being off or arthritis. Problems could develop in the TMJ from grinding your teeth, an injury or dislocation.
How Can a Dentist Treat TMJ?
First, a dentist provides a diagnosis of the problem. Since dentists are experts in the mouth and jaw, they are reliable professionals to turn to for this type of diagnosis. If you’re experiencing pain or other problems in the TMJ area, one of our team of dentists examines the area for difficulty opening and closing it, clicking or popping sounds, and other symptoms. Let us know if you’re experiencing something we can’t see, such as tenderness, so we gain a full picture of the problem.
Dr. Whittaker, Dr. Glasgow or Dr. Soungpradith tries to determine the underlying cause of the problem, such as teeth grinding or dislocation. If the problem lies with another medical expertise, we may refer you to the appropriate type of provider. For example, this may be the case if your TMJ problems are resorting from arthritis. Nonetheless, our dentists may still be able to help you find relief while working together with a doctor.
Our office provides dental services to address TMJ problems, which may vary depending on your situation. Our team may recommend some lifestyle changes, such as consuming softer foods and learning exercises to relax and strengthen the jaw. If needed, we may recommend you wear a nightguard during sleep, use Botox in the jaw area and/or prescribe relevant medications. Another option could be to change the shape and position of your teeth and bite. Ask us about our custom-fitted nightguards and mouthguards to help protect your teeth and jaws.
Start With an Exam
If you’re experiencing jaw discomfort and movement problems, the first step is to have it evaluated by a dentist. We can provide a diagnosis and strive to understand the underlying cause, which helps you get the best treatment for relief of your symptoms.
To make your evaluation appointment with one of our dentists, call our office today at 614-799-9500.