TMJ/TMD Treatment

What is TMJ/TMD?

Your temporomandibular joint (also known as TMJ) is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. This joint lets you move your jaw up and down and side-to-side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The disorder is often referred to as just TMJ but it is actually a TMJ Disorder called TMD.

What Causes TMJ Disorder (TMD)?

We don’t know what causes TMJ Disorder (TMD). Dentists believe symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of your jaw or with parts of the joint itself. Injury to your jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck, such as a heavy blow or whiplash can lead to TMJ Disorder (TMD). Other possible causes of TMJ Disorder (TMD) include: Grinding or clenching your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint. There might also be movement of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket of the joint or arthritis of the joint. Stress, which can cause you to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth.

TMJ/TMD Treatment
Common symptoms of
TMJ Disorder (TMD)
  • Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
  • A tired feeling in your face
  • Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite — as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of your face
  • You may also have toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

What Are the TMJ Disorder (TMD) Symptoms?

TMJ Disorder (TMD) often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. Women tend to experience TMJ Disorder (TMD) then men, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40.

How Is TMJ Disorder (TMD) Diagnosed?

Dr. Wesley’s utilizes his Prosthodontics training (the specialty of full-mouth restoration and correct oral function) when diagnosing TMJ Disorder (TMD). Many other conditions can also cause similar symptoms — like tooth decay, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease. Dr Wesley will conduct a thorough exam to figure out what’s causing your TMJ Disorder (TMD). This TMJ Disorder (TMD) exam will include checking your jaw joints for pain or tenderness while listening for clicks, pops, or grating sounds when you move them. Dr. Wesley will make sure your jaw works like it should and doesn’t lock when you open or close your mouth. He will also test your bite and check for problems with your facial muscles. Dr. Wesley will most likely take a full face X-ray and/or a CT scan, which are both done on-site. Using this advanced technology allows him to view your jaws, temporomandibular joints, and teeth to rule out other problems. He will then determine the best course of treatment based on your exam.

Treatments for TMJ/TMD:

In most cases a plastic mouthpiece, called an occlusal guard, is all that is needed to help correct a TMJ disorder (TMD). A TMJ occlusal guard is fabricated to fit over your upper and/or lower teeth so they don’t touch. This guard is used to lessen the effects of TMJ Disorder(TMD), such as clenching or grinding of your teeth or the discomfort you feel with an improper bite. Depending on the severity of your TMJ Disorder (TMD), Dr. Wesley will determine if your TMJ occlusal guard needs to be worn all the time or just at night while you sleep.

In some cases a TMJ occlusal guard is not enough. Missing teeth or severely misaligned teeth may require more extensive treatments, such as dental implants, crowns, bridges, partial dentures or braces. These TMJ/TMD treatments are used to balance the surfaces of your teeth or to correct an improper bite. Dr. Wesley will suggest the best possible treatment to help eliminate the discomfort and pain that is associated with your TMJ Disorder (TMD).

Why Choose Wesley Dental for your TMJ/TMD Procedure?

When choosing Wesley Dental, you can expect that your diagnosis and initial treatment for your TMJ Disorder (TMD) will be done right here, in the comfort of our office, from start to finish in just one day. Equipped with the latest advanced technology, our 3D Scanner and Printer, allows for precise digital scans and on-site fabrication of models to ensure an exact fit of your final TMJ Disorder occlusal guard. Implementing this method bypasses conventional, messy impressions and eliminates the need to come back for the initial try-in and delivery of your TMJ Disorder occlusal guard. Rather then relying on off-site dental lab facilities, Dr. Wesley and his highly skilled team are able to raise the standard of care by following each step of your TMJ/TMD treatment personally: from diagnosing to fabricating and final delivery.

If additional dental work is needed to help correct your TMJ Disorder (TMD), Wesley Dental may also be able to provide you with same-day service using our E4D Dental System. This Digital system is used to create and fabricate final porcelain crowns, fixed bridges and fixed partial dentures. Call us today. We look forward to helping you solve your TMJ/TMD discomfort.

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