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TMJ Treatment Phoenix, AZ
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ), are the joints and muscles that allow you to open and close your mouth. They are located on both sides of your head and give you the ability to speak, swallow, and chew. They are also responsible for the movement of your lower jaw or mandible.
Each TMJ functions as a ball and socket system, with a disc in between that, acts as a buffer. This disc accommodates for bite force while enabling you to open, glide, or rotate your jaw. If any problem arises within this system of ligaments, joints, muscles, and discs, you may develop a temporomandibular joint disorder.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
There are many signs and symptoms of TMJ. It can be difficult to diagnose TMJ because each symptom can be related to another oral health problem. Some of the most common symptoms include:
What are the Causes of TMJ?
TMJ disorder can be caused by a wide variety of issues. You are at risk for TMJ if you have experienced jaw dislocation or injury. Patients with misaligned teeth, arthritis, or unusual jaw alignment may also be at risk. One of the biggest factors is teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can be caused by stressful situations, or may occur nocturnally without your knowledge.
TMJ disorders develop if the joint cartilage is poor condition, the joint hinge is damaged physically, or the disk erodes or becomes misaligned. However, in many cases, the cause of TMJ is not necessarily clear.
How We Treat TMJ
There is no singular cure to treat TMJ disorders, but there is a wide variety of treatments that can drastically reduce or eliminate symptoms. We will need to conduct a thorough dental exam, as well as a complete review of your dental history. Once we have determined that you have TMJ, we will try to identify the cause, and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
We may recommend moist heat therapy, taking muscle relaxants, over-the-counter pain-relievers, or anti-inflammatory medications. If effective, this treatment can eliminate muscle spasms and reduce pain.
We may also recommend relaxation techniques. You may need to seek training or counseling to eliminate stress and help diminish muscle tension.
In some cases, an appliance known as a bite plate may be helpful in reducing the effects of clenching or teeth grinding. Bite plates are custom-fit to your mouth and keep the upper and lower teeth from grinding.
In severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend jaw joint surgery after all other options have been exhausted.
Contact Us About TMJ
TMJ can be a very painful and life-affecting disorder. If you think you may be suffering from TMJ, it is important to seek medical attention. Call us today at (602) 279-1641 and schedule a consultation visit now.