TMJ Treatment An Overview
TMJ is the common term for a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). It is a chronic pain condition that can affect the health and function of the temporomandibular joint, also known as the jaw joint, and the bite. TMJ can be detrimental to your oral health and your daily quality of life. While there is no “one cause” or set treatment for TMJ, symptoms or a bite problem should be addressed as soon as possible.
Symptoms of TMJ
Symptoms of TMJ vary from person to person and can flare up during times of stress or hormonal changes. If you experience any of the following symptoms or notice any changes in your oral health, be sure to let Dr. Pruitt know.
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic headaches
- Jaw, face or neck pain
- Ear aches
- Clicking or popping of jaw
- Excessively worn teeth
- Broken, chipped or cracked teeth
- Loosening of teeth
Left untreated, TMJ can begin to impact the patient’s quality of life. Chronic headaches and jaw pain can become debilitating and the ability to eat and speak comfortably can be impacted. Treating TMJ requires precise diagnosis and bite analysis. Treatment will vary depending on the condition of the jaw joint, damage caused to the teeth and gums and the root cause of the TMJ pain.
TMJ Treatment What to Expect
Patients can expect a thorough oral health exam and bite analysis for effective, precise treatment. Dr. Pruitt will analyze the health and condition of the bite to determine the cause of the TMJ pain. The goal of treatment will be to resolve the TMJ symptoms and prevent further damage to the teeth and gums.
TMJ Treatment Options
Stress Management: For many patients TMJ is stress induced. In the absence of a bite imbalance or tooth damage Dr. Pruitt may recommend lifestyke changes and relaxation techniques to help patients manage stress. This can often be effective in reducing symptoms like headaches, teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Clear Correct: For patients experiencing TMJ symptoms due to malocclusion or crooked teeth, Clear Correct offers an invisible way to realigned crooked teeth. Using a series of clear plastic aligners, patients will be able to discreetly and comfortably realign their bite.
Oral Sleep Appliance/Nightguard:Patients that grind their teeth or clench their jaws may benefit from an oral sleep appliance. Much like a sports mouth guard, the appliance is made from hard-soft plastic and works to realign the bite during sleep. The oral sleep appliance repositions the jaw and protects the teeth from further wear. Many patients experience a better nights rest, fewer headaches and reduce jaw pain and tension.