What is TMJ disorder?
Your temporomandibular joints are located on both sides of your face, where your lower jaw connects with your skull. The TMJ allows two types of movement. The joint opens and closes your mouth and also slides, allowing your jaw to move from side to side.
The bones inside the TMJ move smoothly because they’re covered in cartilage and cushioned by a small disc. TMJ disorder refers to problems in one or both joints.
The most common causes of TMJ disorder include:
- Degenerated discs
- A misaligned jaw
- Acute injuries
- Teeth grinding
Connective tissue diseases can also contribute to TMJ disorder.
What symptoms develop if I have TMJ disorder?
At Judy Mejido DMD PA, the team uses Invisalign to correct various alignment issues, including:
- Gaps between teeth
You might also benefit from Invisalign if you have crooked or overlapping teeth.
What does Invisalign treatment involve?
The top symptom of TMJ disorder is pain. You may experience pain in your jaw, temples, cheek, neck, or teeth. But it often occurs in your ears.
In addition to pain, you may experience:
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Sore jaw muscles
- Muscle spasms
- Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
- Recurrent headaches
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Jaw locking (inability to move your jaw)
Your pain can range from sharp and stabbing to a dull, constant ache.
What are some TMJ treatments?
After examining your jaw, your provider at Judy Mejido DMD PA may do an in-office CT scan to evaluate the joint.
MJ treatment primarily consists of conservative, nonsurgical therapies. Your treatment plan may include one or more of the following options:
Eating soft foods for a short time, relaxing your muscles with moist heat, and limiting chewing may be enough to alleviate the pain. It also helps if you avoid the type of extreme jaw movements you make when yawning, singing, or yelling.
Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications often provide all the relief you need. If your pain persists, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications. A steroid injection can also help when your pain is due to joint inflammation.
Mouthguards or stabilization splints
When your TMJ disorder is associated with teeth grinding or jaw clenching, wearing an oral appliance while you sleep can protect your teeth and relax and stabilize your jaw.
For expert TMJ treatment, call Judy Mejido DMD PA, or schedule an appointment online.