Do you suffer from chronic headaches and migraines? Do you clench and grind your teeth? Does your jaw constantly feel sore and tired? You may be one of millions of Americans suffering from TMJ or TMD, and you might not even know it. Thankfully, your Fort Worth dentist can provide you with a diagnosis, and a simple, affordable, non-invasive solution!
The “Temporomandibular Joint”, more commonly referred to as the jaw joint or TMJ, assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. TMJ can be used to describe the joint itself, as well as any dysfunction of the joint. Sometimes TMJ dysfunction is also called TMD, or even TMJD. For simplicity, we’ll use TMJ to describe the joint and its dysfunction.
We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.
For more serious cases of TMJ, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest using a mouth guard to relieve teeth grinding. This can help prevent the wear on your teeth from constant grinding and allow your TMJ to rest and heal overnight. Imagine waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day, without chronic pain!
In some cases, TMJ can be caused by misalignment of the teeth or an improper bite. If that is the case, we may recommend orthodontic treatment or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. Sometimes, reshaping the teeth or dental restorations so that the teeth fit better together can help solve TMJ problems.
For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend surgery for a permanent solution.