& Second Opinions
The temporomandibular joints (or TMJs) act like sliding hinges on both sides of the jaw. These joints function as the axis between the lower jaw and the base of the skull and essentially allow the mouth to open and shut.
TMJ disorders are dental health issues with the temporomandibular joint, and they are quite common. These disorders require treatment from oral health professionals to relieve pain and restore the patient’s quality of life.
Most of the time, our first step in treating a TMJ disorder is to use medications to relax muscles and reduce inflammation. Medications of this kind reduce habits of clenching and grinding teeth. Combined with a diet of soft foods, these medications are effective in pain alleviation for many of our patients.
We give other TMJ patients a device called an orthotic splint. This is a specially designed dental health device made to fit the patient’s teeth. The patient will put it on before going to bed to relieve the pressure on the joints. The splint also relaxes the muscles affecting the joints of the jaw, resulting in pain reduction and a drop in inflammation. Orthotic splints that do their job well will even slow the degenerative process of the disorder.
Those who are patient with TMJ treatment will have an easier time staying focused at school or work. They will enjoy their daily lives more without chronic facial pain. In addition to enhanced mental clarity, they will also find it easier to eat, speak and smile.
People with TMJ disorders usually have headaches more often than someone who doesn’t have this condition. However, TMJ treatment will drastically lower the number of headaches one receives, particularly severe migraines.
Another complication TMJ is known to cause is facial pain. This is particularly common in the eyes and ears, but any group of muscles in the head or facial area is susceptible to TMJ-related problems. Treatment for the disorder helps alleviate this kind of pain as well, allowing patients to function at school and work.
TMJ disorder patients usually have trouble sleeping. This is because this disorder is one of the causes of sleep apnea, snoring, and other chronic sleep disorders. Optimal overall health constantly depends on getting a full night (at least seven hours) of sleep. Patients who get treatment for their TMJ issues notice their sleep patterns improve so much that they feel entirely rejuvenated upon awakening.
An individual with a TMJ disorder will have trouble chewing their favorite foods. Opening the mouth to speak or yawning can also cause pain. However, if the condition is treated, a wide variety of movements are made available, such as eating, speaking, and yawning.
If you have a TMJ disorder or any other oral problem and want to get your life back in order, please reach out to us and schedule a consultation.
For more information, contact our office at 817-678-7395.