Do you constantly wake up with a headache and jaw pain? The culprit could be temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Unlike other joints, your TMJ moves up and down as well as back and forth. In a well-functioning TMJ, the ligaments, muscles, and joints work harmoniously to open and close your mouth. However, when there is a malfunction, you will experience discomfort in the head and neck regions.
Millions of Americans live in pain due to TMJ disorder. Pain shouldn’t be part and parcel of your everyday life. At Huntington Dental Excellence, we offer a custom-made oral appliance to help you overcome TMJ pain. This minimally invasive treatment has helped many TMJ patients live a life free of TMJ pain.
Causes and symptoms of TMJ disorder
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge-like joint that connects your lower jaw to the skull. This joint helps you chew, bite, laugh, talk, yawn, and perform a host of other functions with your mouth. Unfortunately, if there is a misalignment, injury, or inflammation to the joint, you are likely to experience the symptoms below:
- Ringing in the ear
- Popping/clicking sound when opening and closing your jaws
- Locked jaw
- Pain extending to the face, neck, and even shoulders
- Earaches and ringing in the ears
- Dental damage
Teeth grinding or bruxism will worsen TMJ pain. Stress, injury, jaw erosion, and misalignment of the TMJ are also common causes of TMJ pain.
Treatment of TMJ pain
Before commencing any treatment, our dental team starts with a proper diagnosis of your TMJ pain. The objective is to establish whether it’s TMJ disorder and, if yes, what the cause is. After an accurate diagnosis, we start with minimally invasive treatments. First, we recommend lifestyle changes, including increased rest, avoiding excessive chewing, and engaging in stress-relieving activities.
Next, we recommend a custom-made oral appliance or orthotic for TMJ. The orthotic takes the pressure off the TMJ joint by holding your jaw in an optimal position and preventing your teeth from clenching. Besides, the orthotic prevents the jaw from locking and helps the jaw muscles relax, reducing pain.