Progressive Periodontics & Implant Dentistry provides services for TMJ Disorder in Eatontown, NJ. Call 732-389-3400 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
There are temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your lower jaw to connect it to your skull. When you open and close your mouth, these joints operate like sliding hinges, but if one or both of them aren’t working properly, it can cause jaw and facial pain, earaches, headaches, and pain when eating, which can affect your overall quality of life. This condition is called TMJ disorder, or TMD.
Patients who have TMD often notice popping or clicking sounds when they open their mouths, and they may even experience lockjaw. When TMD is caused by teeth grinding or jaw clenching, the stress can wear down tooth enamel or cause chips and fractures.
Types of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
To treat TMJ pain, we must first determine what is causing it. TMD is usually classified into one of three categories:
- Myofascial pain – The muscles that surround the TMJ are the source of myofascial pain. Teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and muscle tension are all common causes.
- Internal derangement of the joint – Internal derangement of the joint is often caused by dental or facial trauma, and may involve a displaced disc or a dislocated jaw.
- Arthritis – Arthritis can attack the temporomandibular joints, just as it can affect joints in the hips, knees, wrists, and other parts of the body.
During flare-ups, TMJ can be treated with self-managed care, such as hot/cold compresses, a soft foods diet, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gordon for an evaluation if these home treatments aren’t working. Dr. Gordon will determine the underlying reason for your TMJ pain and recommend a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. Possible treatments include:
- A custom night guard that relieves pain and protects your teeth from damaging forces by repositioning your lower jaw.
- Prescription pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, or muscle relaxants for short-term relief.
Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Disorders
What can a periodontist do for TMJ?
Periodontists are trained to treat TMJ disorders and are educated not only on conditions affecting the gums, but also on the anatomy and function of the jawbone. We can diagnose your TMD, determine the cause of your pain, and provide treatment.
Is TMJ caused by stress?
In some cases, stress can exacerbate TMJ symptoms. TMJ pain can be caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding, which are both physical manifestations of stress in the body.
What is the difference between TMJ and TMD?
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, while TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, which is a painful condition caused by dysfunction in the TMJ.
What will happen if TMJ is not treated?
TMJ disorder, if left untreated, can lead to chronic pain that makes it difficult to eat, work, sleep, and go about your regular activities.
Do you have to get surgery for TMJ?
When it comes to TMD treatment, surgery is usually considered a last resort. There are many treatments to try before we turn to invasive procedures like joint replacement or jaw realignment.
Call 732-389-3400 to schedule your appointment.