TMJ Dentistry and Why You Should Consider It

A man suffering from TMJ jaw pain.

Why You Should Consider TMJ Dentistry

TMJ is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint of your body. In layman’s terms, TMJ is the joint where your corners or your jaw meet with the rest of your skull. Everyone has two of them, one on each side of the mouth, and they work together to perform a host of essential everyday functions such as chewing, speaking, and swallowing.

Many people, however, suffer from a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, often abbreviated as TMD or TMJD. This disorder causes jaw pain or discomfort, which can lead to headaches and migraines, facial pain, jaw pain, and ear pain. Those symptoms can affect your quality of life, so it’s essential to understand what treatment options are available to you.

What Causes TMJ Pain?

Your TMJ is a complex part of your body, but the reasons why it can begin to give your trouble as relatively simple. The main reasons that TMD can occur are arthritis, jaw dislocation, injury, poor tooth and jaw alignment, and teeth grinding. Your jaw is a very busy and powerful part of your anatomy. It’s comprised of an intricate network of bones, muscles, and nerves, and it must maintain balance and harmony to perform correctly. So, when it doesn’t, it can quickly lead to pain and discomfort.

How Can You Treat TMD?

There are several non-invasive ways to treat TMJ pain. Many dentists will recommend treatments like eating softer foods, avoiding unhealthy behaviors like chewing gum and biting your nails, practicing relaxation techniques to control jaw tension. Other treatments include managing the pain with heat packs, performing exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles, taking doctor-prescribed medications, and wearing a nightguard as you sleep to decrease the clenching or grinding of teeth.

In some cases of TMD, however, you will need to consult a specially-trained dentist for more significant work.

What is TMJ Dentistry?

If you’re tired of suffering from jaw pain and discomfort, you should consider TMJ Dentistry. Dentists who are trained in neuromuscular dentistry will look at both TMJs to see how severe the damage to the joints are and recommend treatment from there. In many major cases, dentists will recommend orthotics, surgery, or a full mouth reconstruction.

With a TMJ orthotic, your dentist will create a simple and easy-to-use mouthpiece that is designed to fit easily over your lower back teeth. It is made entirely of plastic, and it is designed to help move your lower jaw back into its natural bite position. With this fix, your joints and jaw muscles can relax, allowing your pain to subside.

Mouth reconstruction is an invasive and slower method of TMD treatment. It is a great approach to take if you need to address other dental issues like cracked or damaged teeth caused by years of clenching and grinding or severely misaligned teeth. Mouth reconstruction treatment can include some or all of the following treatments:

  • Crowns
  • Dental Implants
  • Braces
  • Veneers
  • Bone or Tissue Grafting

Surgery is a step that TMJ dentists take when a jaw is severely misaligned. It is generally seen as a last resort treatment.

About All Smile Care’s TMJ Dentistry Services

If you are experiencing TMJ pain, don’t hesitate to contact All Smiles Care today. Our TMJ dentists are trained to give you the care you need so you can get back to living your life. You don’t have to live in pain – reach out to All Smiles Care today to tackle yours!

About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)

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