Treating TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, can greatly impact the jaw and cause problems with a person’s teeth and bite. Pain radiating from the jawline, persistent clicking and popping, and everyday discomfort is only a small part of how this disorder impacts the lives of many. At Countryside Smiles, we’re here to provide a variety of treatment options under the guidance of Dr. Jaspreet Gill and help resolve issues of inflamed joints, painful jaw movement, and poor bite alignment.
How TMJ Affects Your Oral and Physical Health
TMJ is a collection of disorders often defined by their effect on the temporomandibular joint. This joint connects the lower jaw to the temporal bones along the side of the skull, and as these joints slide and move at the hinge points, it allows the jaw to move up and down smoothly. When a disorder develops, the pain and discomfort that develops from these conditions can be placed into multiple categories, including:
- Myofascial pain: As the most common form of TMJ, myofascial pain affects the muscles that control jaw function alongside neck and shoulder movement.
- Internal joint derangement: Injuries that cause displaced discs and dislocated jawbones can result in the derangement of the temporomandibular joint itself, leading to severe pain and discomfort.
- Degenerative joint disease: Degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause the temporomandibular joint to slowly degrade over time.
All of these factors can affect other aspects of our health, including our posture and musculoskeletal system, where poor jaw alignment can cause problems with other areas of the body as well, especially if the causes of pain come from degenerative diseases such as arthritis. It’s important to be aware of how TMJ can impact your oral health, as poor jaw movement and pain can easily prevent good oral care and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Some symptoms that are often linked to TMJ include:
- Lockjaw, or limited movement of the jawbone
- Painful clicking and popping sounds from the jaw joint
- Difficulties chewing
- A tired, aching feeling within the jaw muscles
- Severe pain and discomfort along the face, neck, and shoulders
- Headaches and migraines
- Earaches, tinnitus, and hearing problems
- Malocclusion or bite problems
TMJ Treatment Options At Countryside Smiles
Because this joint is so intricately a part of our oral health, our team at Countryside smiles can work to help determine the underlying causes and determine potential treatments. Through our dental imaging technology, we can determine the potential cause for your TMJ pain and treat it through a variety of oral appliances, such as mouthguards, to help reduce signs of clenching and grinding to ease muscle tension. Our dentists will work with you to determine the best treatment options for your condition and help provide long-term treatment plans that work to ease your joint pain and keep your oral health in optimal shape.
For more information about our treatment options for TMJ and malocclusion, please contact Countryside Smiles in Murphy, TX to learn more and arrange an appointment today.