Millions of American suffer from TMJ disorder, but most people ignore the symptoms and never seek treatment. No one has to live with the pain of TMJ
disorder, however. Various TMJ treatments are available, some as simple as an oral appliance worn at night. Dr. Brock Lynn provides TMJ treatment at Lynn Dental Care in Dallas, Texas.
Symptoms and Causes of TMJ
TMJ disorder involves either misalignment or damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint, located at either side of the jaw, controls most jaw movements, making it highly important for functions like eating and talking.
TMJ disorder usually results from either stress or traumatic injury to the joint. The exact cause is different for each patient, but common causes of TMJ disorder include:
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw clenching
- Muscle tension
- Arthritis or other conditions involving damaged or eroded cartilage
- Impact injuries to the jaw or face
TMJ disorder usually involves jaw pain that persists over a long period of time. Other common symptoms to keep an eye out for include the following:
- Stiffness, tenderness, or pain in the jaw
- Pain in the jaw joint
- An ache around your ear
- Neck pain
- Facial pain
- Clicking noises when opening your mouth
- Locking of the joint
Since TMJ disorders result from a variety of causes, they may take a number of different forms and require different treatments. To diagnose TMJ disorder, Dr. Lynn will discuss your history of jaw pain and utilize oral examinations, 3-D imaging with an i-Cat cone beam scanner, and bite alignment measurements with the Tekscan T-Scan System.
Oral Appliances for TMJ Treatment
In many cases, TMJ treatment can be as simple as reducing the stress placed on the joint. Some at-home treatments Dr. Lynn might recommend include:
- Sleeping on your back rather than your side
- Heat compresses twice per day
- Avoiding hard or chewy foods for a time
- Limiting caffeine and sugar intake
- Taking care not to clench your teeth
To allow your jaw to relax and prevent clenching, Dr. Lynn can provide you with a fitted oral appliance. These are specially molded to fit your mouth using 3-D imaging technology. The appliance is worn at night while you’re asleep and allows your jaw muscles to relax. This relieves the stress placed on the temporomandibular joint, reducing pain over time.
There are many styles of oral appliances available for TMJ treatment, each of which is designed for specific functions. As a Dallas dentist, Dr. Lynn can determine which device is best for you and quickly mold it to fit your mouth. If you have any questions about TMJ or wish to schedule an appointment, give Lynn Dental Care a call today.