Is jaw pain meddling with your daily life? In that case, you might have a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. It is commonly known as TMD or TMJ; this disorder can cause constant pain and tenderness in your mouth, recurrent popping and grinding noises in your jaw, and trouble chewing. At Red Rock Dental, we offer temporomandibular joint disorder treatment to help ease jaw pain and discomfort in our patients.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder can cause discomfort to the jaw joint and the muscles that control the jaw because the temporomandibular joints link the jawbone to the skull.
What Causes TMJ?
The causes of TMJ are not clearly understood in the dental community, but we know that various factors may be responsible, including previous jaw injuries, genetics, or arthritis. Regularly clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth may also be to blame.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
The common symptoms of TMJ include the following:
- Pain and tenderness in the neck, face, jaw, and shoulders
- Difficulty in opening your mouth
- Facial tiredness
- Trouble chewing your food
- Abnormal swelling on one or both sides of your face
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Prolonged fatigue
- Teeth grinding
What Are Some Treatment Options for TMJ?
Medications like aspirin can reduce pain and swelling in your jaw, providing you with temporary relief. Often, anti-anxiety medicines can also provide relief from your jaw clenching.
Sometimes, crooked, broken, or missing teeth are the reason for TMJ pain. Our dentist, Dr. Alan McCaffrey may suggest specific dental work to alleviate your symptoms.
Patients who have misaligned teeth and suffer from TMJ pain may benefit from Invisalign treatment. However, this option is not suitable for patients who clench and grind their teeth due to TMJ. Invisalign can straighten teeth little by little with a series of transparent aligners for a more even bite.
Oral appliances like nightguards help cover and protect teeth, thus preventing their further wear and tear. They can be worn before sleep or during stressful situations. Oral appliances work by taking pressure off the jaw, thus reducing the clenching and grinding of the teeth.
If any of the above treatment options are not making a difference, we might recommend a specialist for TMJ surgery.
If you want treatment for TMJ disorder, contact us at Red Rock Dental at (702) 243-8788 to schedule your appointment.