What is TMJ?

The TMJ joint in our jaw or (temporomandibular joint) is one of the most common problem areas for dental patients. The TMJ joint is used for opening and closing your mouth. We have TMJ joints located at the back of our mouths where our jaw connects to our temporal bones.

Understanding TMJ.

Some of the most common problems that can occur in these joints is a problem known as Bruxism. Bruxism is what happens when we clench our upper and lower jaw. This clenching can put intense pressure on the structure of the jaw, the jaw tissue, and the muscles. Over time this can cause disorders in the joint of the jaw, migraines or headaches, pain in different areas of the neck, tense muscles, grinding of the teeth, and even ear pain. These conditions as a whole are known as TMJ problems. Dental experts forecast there are 20 to 50 million people in the United States who suffer TMJ problems.

One of the most common negative side effects of TMJ is excessive teeth grinding. When you grind your teeth from side to side over extended periods of time you will wear your teeth down and can cause excessive and potentially expensive damage.

What are the symptoms of TMJ:

  • Migraines or headaches
  • Intense Vertigo
  • Painful Tinnitus
  • Facial pain for no reason
  • Loose teeth without a known cause
  • Excessive neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Limited jaw movement and/or locking of the jaw
  • Worn down teeth from grinding
  • Ears that feel congested
  • Intense pain in the jaw joints
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in either or both jaw joints

What causes TMJ and bruxism and how do we treat it?

There is no exact known cause of bruxism, but most dentists would agree that anxiety and stress can be key factors. Proper stress and anxiety treatment are known to help combat the symtoms of bruxism.

Mouth guard treatment for TMJ patient.

While reducing anxiety is a vital tool in the arsenal for treating TMJ, the use of a dental guard is by far the most common and effective treatment. A night guard is a simple plastic retainer the patient wears at night to help protect the teeth and jaw from grinding and pressure. The night guard provides a cushion and is somewhat of a shock absorber for the jaw and teeth. This simple, affordable treatment can work wonders for a patient who has been suffering from the painful effects of bruxism and TMJ.

When you come to our office and see one of our Dallas TMJ specialists we will likely need 2 visits. The first visit we will take impressions of your teeth and then sent to a laboratory to customize your dental guard. The next visit we will make any necessary adjustments for optimal fit. The mouth guard will likely take you a few weeks to get used to sleeping with, but eventually it will feel normal to wear it.

Stop Suffering! Please give us a call for a free consultation.

(214) 997-6569

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