Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD or TMJ)
Have you noticed that you wake up with headaches? Do you experience frequent pain in your jaw when you open or close your mouth? Are you getting earaches? You might be experiencing symptoms of TMJ. If you unconsciously grind your teeth, you also could be causing the pain in your jaw. If you have these symptoms, you should visit Baystate Dental.
What Are the TMJ Symptoms?
Although many people suffer from TMJ, they don’t know they have it because they can’t pinpoint the symptoms to their jaw. They don’t know where the chronic pain and discomfort has originated.
Some common symptoms of TMJ/TMD include:
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
What Are the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Causes?
When you visit our offices in Springfield, Chicopee, Longmeadow, West Springfield, Westfield, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, Northampton, Greenfield, and Wilbraham, MA, the dentist will look at your symptoms and identify whether you should or should not receive temporomandibular joint disorder treatments. He or she can then determine whether you are experiencing the disorder accurately by using special technology and comprehensive dental knowledge.
If you have been suffering from the above symptoms, your pain will disappear with the right temporomandibular joint disorder exercises. During the diagnosis, the dentist will evaluate your jaw position and determine the correct position to ensure your treatment will do the trick. Some possible causes include:
- Deterioration or slippage of the cushioning disk between the two bone surfaces
- Sudden Injury or impact to one or both jaw joints
- Clenching or grinding the teeth, which can gradually push the joints out of alignment
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
- Repetitive motions, such as excessive gum chewing
- Bad posture, such as frequently holding a telephone with your shoulder
What Are TMJ Treatments?
Our dentists are trained to analyze your bite or occlusion. He or she will examine your jaw to determine how it moves and whether you have discomfort or limitation in the way it opens and closes your mouth. The bite is a three-point mechanism with the two jaw joints and the chin. If you place a finger in front of one ear and open your mouth, you can feel the jaw joint working. Your bite includes jaw joints, muscles, nerves and blood vessels servicing those structures. Additionally, misaligned teeth could be the cause of TMD. They could be preventing your mouth from closing correctly and this would build up muscle strain in the face, neck and shoulders.
At Baystate Dental, we have a number of treatment options available. If your TMJ is caused by stress or tension in your jaw, it might go away on its own with some relaxation techniques. However, you might need medications, therapy or tmj surgery. If you are prescribed medicines, you could be given pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, muscle relaxants or sedatives. If you need therapy or temporomandibular joint disorder treatment exercises, you could be provided bite guards, which ensure that you can’t bring your teeth together if they are misaligned and can’t grind them; physical therapy, such as ultrasound, moist heat and ice; or counseling to help people change their bad behaviors. With surgery, dentists will recommend arthrocentesis, injections, or repairing or replacing the joint.
I Have Pain in my Jaw. Do I Have TMJ?
You might have TMJ, but you also might have other dental problems that are causing the pain in your jaw. Many people experience occasional pain in their jaw that goes away without treatment or a visit to the neuromuscular dentist. If the pain is frequent or begins to interfere with your normal activities, you should visit your neuromuscular dentist. Make an appointment with Baystate Dental. You also should look in a mirror and see if you notice a misalignment in your jaw.
Can Anyone Have TMJ Problems?
Yes. Misalignment of the jaw joint can occur to anyone. However, it is most common in women between the ages of 30 and 50. Not all TMJ diagnoses are problematic for the patients, though. Some are caused by stress and tension and can be fixed easily. For example, if you grind your teeth in your sleep, you might be able to correct that with stress-relieving techniques.
Do You Offer Mouthguards For Sports Patients?
Yes. We are able to customize professional, amateur and collegiate sports patients with Pure Power Mouthguards. These keep facial muscles relaxed and aligned during sports play and protect the teeth. You will get more balance, reflex speed and strength so you can perform at your maximum level.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you wonder if your headaches are due to jaw pain, or if you have visited other doctors and your headaches still won’t disappear, let us evaluate your health. You could be having TMJ problems that can be fixed easily. Call to schedule your appointment at a Baystate Dental office location convenient to you at Belchertown, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Greenfield – Suite 6, Greenfield – Suite 7, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Northampton – King St, Springfield – Harrison Ave, Springfield – Main St #212, Springfield – Main St #215, Westfield, West Springfield, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts.