TLC for Your TMJ – Relief Starts Here
Like a popular word game, we’ll give you the question. And then we’ll reveal the answer!
What creates symptoms like:
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Worn, chipped or cracked teeth
- Cracking, chipping or breaking dental restorations
- Pain or soreness around the jaw joints
- Pain in teeth that seems to move around
- Neck, shoulder or back pain
- Facial pain
- Clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joints
- Limited movement or locking jaw
- Numbness in your fingers and arms
- Congestion or stuffiness of the ears
The answer, of course, is “What is TMJ Dysfunction?”
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) is the name for symptoms often caused by a misalignment of the joints that connect your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. Each joint is covered with cartilage, separated by a small disc that acts as a shock absorber and helps keep the jaw movements smooth.
If this disc deteriorates or moves out of alignment, or the joint is damaged from some type of impact, this can cause the symptoms of TMD.
TMD can often be treated without invasive procedures, such as surgery. Dr. Brandon or Dr. Amy may recommend splint therapy to allow the muscles to relax and gently reposition the jaw joint. Splint therapy consists of a custom-designed bite splint, that typically fits over the lower teeth. Not only does the splint relax the muscles and realign the jaw, it also is designed to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching.
You will experience what a comfortable difference a stable, solid bite can make on your teeth, muscles and jaw. We can also learn how to most conservatively treat your mouth to get it functioning properly.
Once relief and stability are achieved with splint therapy, we may recommend to reshape or restore your teeth, so that they move smoothly against each other and fit together in the same solid manner you felt using the bite splint. This will enable your jaw joints, muscles and teeth to function in harmony and prevent further pain and breakdown.