Do you have chronic jaw pain? Have you noticed a clicking sound in your jaw, difficulty in performing oral functions, headaches, or earaches? These issues may arise when you have temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ.
TMJ will not resolve on its own, so you should ask your dentist how you can treat this problem. Without dental intervention, your condition could deteriorate further and become unbearable. Dr. Quinn Woodruff, a dentist serving patients in McLeansville, NC, describes three treatments that can help you alleviate your uncomfortable TMJ symptoms.
How Will My Dentist Treat TMJ?
Stress Relief Exercises
TMJ disorders occur when abnormally high levels of pressure impact your jaw, causing the muscles to tighten and affect the movement of this joint. Stress can cause you to grind or clench your teeth, generating this pressure that can lead to TMJ.
Therefore, dentists often begin treating TMJ by recommending ways to relieve stress, including exercise and breathing activities. They will also suggest exercises for your mouth and face that can help you loosen tight muscles in the area and improve your TMJ symptoms.
Teeth grinding and clenching, a habit that dentists refer to as bruxism, often occurs without a patient’s notice. If this happens while they sleep, it can be difficult to prevent and stop this behavior before it hurts your jaw.
However, a dentist can create a custom mouthguard for patients to wear overnight that can protect the teeth and jaw from bruxism that may occur during sleep. It will cushion additional pressure and adjust the jaw’s position so that the muscles can relax while at rest.
This appliance will also prevent tooth breakage and other structural dental damage that may happen due to bruxism. If your teeth have already sustained damage, your dentist may recommend restorative treatments such as a dental crown to repair your smile.
Bruxism is not the only cause of TMJ. If you have crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, your jaw might experience heightened pressure when you perform oral functions. Though genetics and childhood habits contribute to teeth and jaw misalignment, you will need intervention from a dental professional to straighten your smile.
If your dentist determines that you have a malocclusion, they will refer you to an orthodontist for treatment to straighten your teeth and align your jaw. Once your bite is amended and the pressure alleviated, you will no longer suffer from uncomfortable symptoms due to TMJ.
TMJ Treatment Available in McLeansville, NC
McLeansville Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers treatment for TMJ disorders and other dental concerns in patients located in McLeansville, NC. Dr. Woodruff specializes in cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions, for patients of all ages. Whether you seek routine teeth cleaning or need help with a dental emergency, our dental team can assist you. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 336.506.6545 or reach a member of our staff online.