If you experience jaw pain, jaw popping, or jaw locking, TMJ disorder could be the culprit. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a part of your jaw that helps you talk and chew by controlling movement. When this joint suffers damage or becomes inflamed, it can lead to pain and discomfort. Patients may be able to get TMJ treatment in Amherst, NY, from their dentist for improved mouth mobility and comfort. While some cases of TMJ may need surgery or other invasive procedures to correct, some patients can see relief with minimal treatment. Your dentist can examine your bite to determine the best way to potentially treat TMJ disorder.
Options for TMJ Treatment in Amherst, NY
Many patients can find themselves suffering from TMJ disorder and not even realizing it at first. Common TMJ disorder symptoms include:
- Frequent jaw and headaches
- Jaw popping, especially after waking up
- Tooth wear and tear caused by clenching and grinding
- Chronic earaches
- Limited jaw mobility or pain when moving jaw
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist to determine the cause. A panoramic x-ray can help them get a better look at your jaw joints to see if there’s any inflammation, misalignment, or damage. If TMJ is not the culprit, your dentist can examine your mouth to determine what may be causing your pain and discomfort.
Many patients experience the bulk of TMJ symptoms after waking up. This is because grinding and clenching while sleeping is a leading cause of TMJ disorder. Patients with malocclusion or high stress can often wake with jaw pain and popping. Custom TMJ mouthguards could help protect your teeth and provide relief for TMJ symptoms.
Custom mouthguards are designed to fit your unique bite, so your dentist will have to take impressions of your teeth for a perfect fit. Wearing your mouthguard at night or during high physical contact activities (such as playing sports) can help prevent clenching and grinding. This can help relieve tension in your jaw and protect your teeth from grinding.
When your teeth are out of alignment, you can often experience many other dental problems. Malocclusion is a common cause of TMJ disorder. An uneven bite creates uneven tension that can lead to inflammation and damage to your jaw joints. Adjusting your bite through corrective means, such as Invisalign, could potentially provide relief from TMJ disorder symptoms. Adjusting your bite also has other health benefits, such as improving your oral health and hygiene routine.
If your uneven bite is caused by a missing tooth, then your dentist may suggest getting a dental implant or other restorative treatment to help improve your bite and protect your jaw.
At Creekside Dentistry, we want to make sure all of our patients have healthy teeth, gums, and jaws. If you experience any symptoms of TMJ disorder, give us a call at (716) 262-8070 to schedule a consultation and see if treatment is available for you.