TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are problems in your jaw joint that happen when these joints and the chewing muscles do not work together as required. If you are suffering from joint pain or a clicking sound, they can now be easily diagnosed and treated than in years past. But if not treated promptly, TMJ problems can lead to more severe conditions. So, early diagnosis and treatment become vital.
No single treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and may need time to take effect and show results. At Family Smiles Fort Lee, we can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
- Pain in the jaws, ears, face, or baffling headaches
- Subdued or clogged hearing
- Pain or clicking sounds when chewing
- Stiff or fatigued facial muscles upon waking from sleep
- Clenching teeth when awake or sleeping
- Headaches in the temple region
- Difficulty in opening mouth freely, smoothly, or suitably
- The jaw feels like it’s locked in position, whether closed or open
- Development of improper bite
- Discomfort when biting, or painful chewing
- Teeth chipped or worn on edges
- Visible overbite
- Shifting of teeth, gaps, or crowding for no seeming reason
There are various treatment options to enhance the function and harmony of your jawbone. Once our examination confirms TMJ disorder, we will decide the suitable course of therapy. It is vital to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care combined with professional help.
The initial goal is to relieve joint pain and muscle spasm. This is typically achieved with pain medications, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxants. Steroids can be given directly into the joints to reduce pain and swelling. Self-care treatments can be equally effective and include:
- Resting your jaw joint
- Keeping your teeth separate when not eating or swallowing
- Soft diet foods
- Applying ice and heat packs
- Exercising your jaw
Stress management techniques that include an oral appliance may be recommended. The said device, known as the splint or nightguard, is worn over your upper and lower teeth to help keep a distance between your teeth, thereby relaxing the muscles and decreasing pain.
A night guard safeguards your teeth from clenching or grinding actions, alleviates muscle tension, and helps to shield the joint and cartilage surfaces. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn at night or throughout the day and night to move your jaw into the correct position.
If you want to get relief from teeth clenching and grinding, visit our office, Family Smiles Fort Lee, at 810 Abbott Boulevard Suite 302, Fort Lee, NJ 07024. You can also reach us at (201) 224-2705 and schedule an appointment.