What Are the Causes of TMJ Disorder?
Beyond Dental & Implant Center provides treatments for TMJ disorder. Contact us for more information or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 13655 Preston Rd Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75240.
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Your mouth has several working parts that enable it to do a wide variety of different tasks. One important component of your mouth is your temporomandibular joints or TMJ. These joints are located on each side of your face, where the mandible, or lower jaw, meets the skull. These two joints, along with the attached muscles, ligaments, and bones, make it possible for you to open and close your mouth, as well as move the jaw from side to side. If the joints become irritated and then inflamed, this can cause a significant amount of pain, as well as make it difficult to move your mouth. Beyond Dental and Implant Center can help to treat issues affecting your TMJ and restore your oral health.
TMJ disorder refers to any number of different issues that affect the health of your temporomandibular joints, the jaw, and the attached muscles and ligaments. These issues often cause irritation and inflammation of the joints, which can then lead to severe pain that can significantly impact your quality of life.
Pain is just one indication of TMJ disorder. There are also several other symptoms that may occur. These symptoms often come on gradually, increasing in severity over time. The exact symptoms vary based on the exact cause and include other things such as:
• Facial pain.
• Swelling near the joints.
• Trouble opening and closing your mouth.
• Experiencing a clicking, popping, or grinding sensation when you move your jaw.
• Lockjaw. This is a condition in which the jaw temporarily becomes immobile.
• Chronic headaches or earaches, which are often the result of the radiation of pain from the joints.
TMJ disorder can be caused by some different issues.
• Facial trauma, which can be sustained as a result of a fall, a sports-related injury, or a car accident.
• Temporary dislocation. This can occur as a result of whiplash. If your jaw is dislocated, even for a few seconds, it can cause small tears that irritate the joint.
• Bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth. The excessive forces that your muscles exert on your mouth can irritate the joints and tire the jaw. This is commonly caused by stress, but can also occur as a result of misaligned teeth or jaws.
• Osteoarthritis. This is the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints.
• Rheumatoid arthritis. This is caused when your immune system attacks your joints, causing inflammation.
To diagnose TMJ disorder, a comprehensive oral exam is needed. We visually inspect the condition of your teeth and assess your mouth for alignment issues. We will also take images of your mouth, such as X-rays, CAT scans, CT scans, or 3D scans. These images allow us to see the roots of your teeth, your jawbone, the muscles, the ligaments, and the joints. A comprehensive exam allows us to determine the exact cause of your TMJ disorder, and create an effective, customized treatment plan that will provide you with the best results possible.
Your treatment for TMJ disorder will depend upon the cause. Treatments for TMJ include:
• Taking care at home. In some cases, the minor TMJ disorder can be managed with things you can do at home, such as OTC pain relievers, ice packs, a TMJ-friendly diet consisting of softer foods, and relaxation techniques.
• Oral appliances. Commonly used for bruxism, oral appliances like mouthguards aid in cushioning the impact the facial muscles exert on your jaw and TMJ.
• Botox. While Botox is normally associated with cosmetic procedures, it can also be used to treat bruxism-related TMJ disorder.
• Orthodontics. Orthodontics, such as braces, can correct alignment issues, alleviating TMJ pain.
• Oral surgery. Oral surgery is saved for treating severe issues that are affecting the health of your TMJ and is often reserved for the last effort.
If your TMJ is causing you discomfort, and making it difficult, if not impossible, to use your mouth, we can help. Call us at Beyond Dental and Implant Center to schedule your consultation today. We serve patients from Dallas TX, Plano TX, Addison TX, Garland TX, Richardson TX, Carrollton TX, and BEYOND!
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