Formerly known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction/disorder (TMD), TMJ is a painful condition of the jaw joint and supportive surrounding muscles. This joint, which connects your jaw to your skull, is crucial for chewing and speaking comfortably. When it does not function correctly, you may experience pain, a clicking noise in the joint, and even a locking jaw.
Other symptoms include:
- Neck and shoulder pain
Your dentist wants to see you live your best life without the pain associated with TMJ, which is why we offer TMJ Treatment in Chesterfield, MO.
What Causes TMJ?
A definitive cause for your TMJ disorder is often difficult to identify. Your pain may be caused by a previous trauma, parafunctional habit (grinding, clenching, or bruxism), joint arthritis, and/or ligament or cartilage degradation of the joint.
Your Chesterfield, MO dentist provides a comprehensive evaluation to look for an underlying cause and help you overcome this painful condition.
What Foods Should I Be Eating?
Minimize or eliminate foods that cause strenuous use of the jaw muscles. These foods include gum, taffy, or anything chewy.
Your dentist near Ballwin, MO may provide a more specific food list based on your evaluation in our dental office. At Clarkson Dental Group, we customize our treatments and recommendations to address your unique needs.
What Non-Invasive Treatment Options Exist?
Depending on the severity of the TMJ, simple stretches and massages can help mitigate your discomfort. A combination of home care and/or physical therapy can be used to stretch your jaw muscles. And applications of alternating hot and cold may alleviate some pain as well.
What Will Happen If I Don't Treat My TMJ?
For most patients, pain can be alleviated by minimizing over-use of their TMJ joint and consulting with a doctor.
In more severe cases where the patient has constant pain, discomfort, and insomnia, we will want to develop a plan to alleviate these symptoms.
Your dentist can prescribe exercises and even customize an appliance to help reposition your jaw and relieve your pain.
If you suffer from bruxism—sometimes a contributing factor in TMJ—your dentist may recommend a custom nightguard. This comfortable appliance separates your upper and lower jaws during sleep, which prevents grinding and clenching. This can greatly improve your TMJ. Additionally, treating bruxism, which can cause tooth wear and fractures over time, is crucial to your long-term oral health.
For TMJ Treatment in Chesterfield, MO, Contact a Member of Our Friendly Dental Team
Our experienced dentist has helped many patients with TMJ, and he is here to evaluate your jaw health and make the best recommendations for you. If you would like to schedule a consultation or if you have any questions, we welcome your call.
Your dentist in Chesterfield, MO proudly serves patients everywhere, including Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, and Ellisville.