At Dental Care South, we strive to be your premier choice when you’re looking for a Tuscaloosa, AL dentist. It’s our mission to not just create beautiful smiles, but help a patient achieve and maintain an optimal level of comfort for the natural uses of the mouth, jaw, and teeth. However, one of the things that can disturb that is temporomandibular joint disorders (often referred to as TMJ or TMD).
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint is one of the most complex joints in the entire body; it’s responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. When you have a problem that prevents this joint from functioning properly, you have TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ
TMJ can have a wide range of symptoms, many of which are found in other problems, making it hard to definitively know whether or not you have TMJ. Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw or temporomandibular joints
- Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw joint when you open your mouth
- Difficulty or pain while chewing
- Locking of the jaw in either a closed or open mouth position
- Aching facial pain or ear pain
- Tooth pain
- Swelling or tenderness of the face
Causes of TMJ
The cause of TMJ in many cases often isn’t very clear. TMJ can arise because of a number of reasons, including:
- Injuries to your jaw or the muscles of your head or neck
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Arthritis in the joints
- Misalignment of the teeth or jaw
At Dental Care South, we offer the following TMJ treatments in order to relieve your symptoms:
- We provide ice, heat, and jaw movement therapy to decrease inflammation and muscle stiffness.
- We can also prescribe medication to help with the inflammation and pain.
- We can provide a custom mouth guard that can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with TMJ.
Seeking TMJ Treatment?
The first step in determining if you actually have TMJ is by visiting your dentist for a checkup. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment, feel free to fill out our online appointment request form. Alternatively, you can give us a call at (205) 752-1929. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve an even higher level of dental health!