What Causes TMJ and How a TMJ Dentist Can Treat It

Posted on: March 16, 2018

TMJVisiting a TMJ dentist is a good idea for anyone who is suffering from jaw or face pain. When taking ibuprofen is just not enough to feel better, it is time to address the root cause of the pain and prevent it from recurring. This is something that a dentist can help with. As a medical professional focuses on treating the teeth, jaw and the surrounding structures, a TMJ dentist is the best person to visit for localized jaw and face pain.

What causes TMJ?

There can be multiple reasons that someone suffers from temporomandibular joint disorder. A common reason is stress. During periods of high-stress people are more likely to suffer from jaw and face pain. This is because symptoms of TMJ are often caused by grinding or clenching teeth at night. Some people do this on a regular basis with no apparent reason. For others, this happens during times of heightened stress or emotional anxiety. TMJ symptoms may also be caused by a misalignment of the jaw or teeth.

Treatment options

Some providers recommend surgery to treat symptoms of TMJ. As a TMJ dentist, we recommend trying a noninvasive treatment method first. Surgery is intensive, requires a recovery time and the results are not guaranteed. Some patients feel better while others do not. With that in mind, the risk of heading straight to surgery is simply not worth the potential rewards. Instead, we suggest using our noninvasive treatment method first. It may be sufficient to not require any additional treatment.

We can have a custom night guard created for our clients to wear while they are sleeping. It is durable, comfortable and secure since it is created using the exact measurements and specifications of our patients’ smiles. When worn at night, it prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching. This makes it impossible for the patient to grind or clench their teeth while sleeping. Immediately, the pressure and trauma on the teeth are eliminated. Also, the guard forces the jaw to remain in a relaxed position at night. This ensures that there is no muscle strain and tension.

The results

Patients who begin wearing a night guard are likely to experience immediate and long-term benefits. Right away, the pressure is relieved from the teeth, the jaw and the surrounding muscles. As a result, patients who wear this guard begin waking up with less jaw and facial pain. Within a matter of weeks, the pain could be eliminated completely. By continuing to wear the guard, it should not come back either. We have treated patients who suffered such terrible soreness that it was difficult for them to chew or to open their mouth completely. After wearing the guard, they were able to regain movement and stop feeling discomfort when eating or speaking. Ultimately, our goal is to restore our patients’ health and quality of life by reducing the pain associated with TMJ.

Visiting a TMJ dentist could also protect your teeth

Another reason to schedule an appointment with our office is that grinding and clenching teeth at night can cause them to chip or crack. Dental damage can be painful and expensive to repair. Fortunately, protecting teeth is relatively easy. By simply wearing a night guard, damage to teeth and to restorations can be prevented. We encourage you to take steps to do so by calling and scheduling an appointment with our office today.


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