TMJ disorders affect the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull, also known as the temporomandibular joints. When these joints are injured, they can lead to jaw pain, jaw joint inflammation, and teeth clenching and grinding.
Also known as bruxism, teeth clenching and grinding is caused by stress or bite alignment issues. Bruxism often occurs at night or unconsciously during stressful situations. One of the most common risk factors for developing TMJ disorder is crooked or misaligned teeth. Improper contact between the teeth can lead to muscle tension and painful TMJ symptoms.
Dr. Keith Boenning and Dr. Nathan Dancykier treat patients who have TMJ disorders in their Towson, Maryland dental office. They help patients restore a comfortable bite and alleviate painful TMJ symptoms.
TMJ: Symptoms and Treatment
Look out for these common signs and symptoms of TMJ and contact our office if they sound familiar to you:
- Teeth grinding
- Chronic headaches
- Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
- Tooth wear
- Jaw popping and clicking
Before treating these symptoms, Dr. Boenning or Dr. Dancykier will evaluate the joints for damaged tissue as well as teeth for wear and tear. One of the most common treatments for TMJ disorder and bruxism is a nightguard. A nightguard is a custom oral appliance that is worn over the teeth, often during sleep.
Similar to a mouthguard, a nightguard protects the teeth from the pressure that bruxism exerts. Nightguards absorb the impact of bruxism and alleviate the pressure off of the jaw.
Mouth and jaw exercises can also be helpful if you have mild TMJ symptoms. These exercises relieve pain, strengthen the jaw muscles, reduce clicking and popping, and promote healing. We can recommend these exercises in conjunction with oral appliance therapy for the best results.
There are several common questions that patients may have about TMJ and the treatment process:
Do I need surgery to treat TMJ?
Most TMJ problems can be addressed with non-invasive and non-surgical dental treatments. Oral surgery is only necessary in severe cases of TMJ. We offer conservative treatment for TMJ and its often painful symptoms in our Towson office.
How do I know if I need TMJ treatment?
Request a consultation in our office and we evaluate your smile to determine if you require TMJ treatment. Symptoms like teeth clenching and grinding, jaw pain, and tooth wear are tell-tale signs of a TMJ disorder.
What causes TMJ?
Stress, arthritis, jaw injury, and tooth misalignment are some of the most common causes of TMJ disorders. A misaligned bite or crooked teeth can trigger TMJ symptoms like teeth clenching and grinding. Be aware of these causes and any dental symptoms that may arise so we can treat you as soon as possible.
Treat TMJ Today
Do you want to treat jaw pain or chronic headaches? Call 410.324.2294 or schedule an appointment online for TMJ treatment. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about your TMJ treatment with Dr. Boenning or Dr. Dancykier. They will be happy to help.