Have you ever, or are currently, suffering from chronic jaw pain? Do you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth? You may be living with a TMJ disorder.
The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull, and pain can arise in the jaw joint and the muscles that control the jaw. Other often painful symptoms can damage teeth and make it difficult to use the jaw and teeth properly. What causes temporomandibular joint disorders, what are the common symptoms that accompany the disorders, and how can they be treated effectively?
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Issues (TMJ)
Causes of TMJ disorders that are common in patients with TMJ can include:
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Trauma to the jaw
- Crooked teeth
Patients with the above conditions are more prone to developing TMJ disorders because they put the jaw under pressure. This pressure can be painful and may result in more problems for patients.
Symptoms of TMJ
Common signs of a TMJ disorder include:
- Jaw pain
- Facial pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Teeth grinding
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, call Stewart Dental Group for a thorough dental exam and jaw evaluation. You may have a TMJ disorder or another oral health problem that should be addressed.
TMJ Treatment in Charlotte, NC
There are several treatment options that can help alleviate painful symptoms of TMJ disorders. They can include any of the following, or a combination of dental treatments.
When TMJ symptoms are mild, at-home options may help alleviate TMJ pain. Some of these solutions include:
- Jaw exercises
- Relaxing your facial muscles
- Sleeping on your side
- Using an ice pack in a clean cloth
- Using a heat pack
- Eating soft foods to help your jaw rest
However, if your TMJ pain is severe and frequent, you can call the Stewart Dental Group at 704-376-2404. Our professional team will make sure that you can get effective treatment, whether you receive it in our office or from a recommended specialist.
If you have misaligned or crooked teeth and suffer from TMJ pain, Invisalign may help. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to straighten teeth gradually and give patients a more balanced bite. However, this option is not good for patients who clench and grind their teeth as a result of TMJ and cannot stop bruxism.
Oral appliances act like mouth guards, covering and protecting teeth to prevent further wear and tear. This treatment can be worn overnight or during anxiety-inducing situations. Oral appliances take pressure off of the jaw and prevent teeth from clenching and grinding.
If teeth have become worn down or damaged due to a TMJ disorder, Dr. Randall or Dr. Melissa Stewart will help coordinate restorative and cosmetic treatment. We offer dental crowns, porcelain veneers, dental implants, and more to restore the form and function of a patient’s teeth and gums.
What happens if TMJ goes untreated?
TMJ can get severe if it isn’t addressed. Tendons, muscles, and cartilage in the area can all be damaged, as well as nerves. Chronic pain can persist and lead to depression or other symptoms. It’s also possible to experience permanent dislocation of the jaw with TMJ.
Is TMJ considered a disability?
TMJ doesn’t have disability status. However, there’s a possibility that complications with TMJ can lead to chronic conditions that would have disability status.
Can TMJ impact my entire body?
TMJ is often not limited to just the jaw area. The tension it causes can impact your face and head, down into your neck and shoulders. Fatigue and soreness is common throughout many muscle groups.
Treat TMJ Disorders in Charlotte, NC
If you need relief from chronic pain in your face, jaw, or neck, call Stewart Dental Group today. Call our dentists at 704-376-2404 for comprehensive and comfortable TMJ procedures and treatment. You can also schedule an appointment with us online. Our staff will work diligently to find a treatment option that can effectively reverse the symptoms of TMJ.