TMJ: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) allows the lower jaw to open and close with ease and is critical for speaking and chewing. Unfortunately, TMJ disorder can arise when the joints are not in proper alignment. If you live in or around Peabody, MA, and experience jaw discomfort, the expert doctors of Navid Family Dental Associates may recommend TMJ disorder treatment.
Our dental team has treated TMJ-related problems since 1982. Fortunately, the vast majority of TMJ disorder cases can be effectively treated without the need for surgery.
Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
According to the TMJ Association, an estimated 12 percent of Americans suffer from TMJ disorder. Due to the complexity of the temporomandibular joint, there are many potential causes of TMJ disorder, including:
- Tooth misalignment
- Genetic factors
- Bruxism or tooth grinding
Individuals who suffer from TMJ often experience jaw pain, toothaches, headaches, and clicking or popping of the jaw. The TMJ’s proximity to the ears means that disorder can affect the inner ear, as well. These symptoms can quickly hinder a patient’s quality of life: not only can it make it harder to eat and speak, but it can even interfere with sleep.
Individuals with TMJ often experience pain or discomfort when opening their jaws widely. During your consultation at our Peabody dental practice, one of our doctors will measure the range of motion of your jaw. Our doctors may also take x-rays or other forms of imaging to determine the extent of the problem. While a physician may be required to officially diagnose your condition as TMJ, our qualified doctors can provide effective treatments to relieve your symptoms.
If you have been living with regular jaw pain, you can trust the expert dental team at Navid Family Dental Associates to properly address your condition with compassion and care.
How is TMJ Disorder Treated?
The majority of our Peabody patients suffering from TMJ disorder find relief without the need for surgery. If your jaw alignment issues stem from misaligned teeth, our office offers discreet and effective Invisalign treatments. If teeth alignment issues are not the cause of your jaw pain, our office offers two effective, non-surgical treatments:
Oral appliances correct jaw misalignment, relax jaw muscles, and prevent bruxism. To undergo this safe and affordable treatment, one of our doctors will take an impression of your smile. After a few weeks, you can pick up your custom appliance at our office. By wearing it at night, you can not only shift your jaw back into proper alignment, you also protect your teeth from the effects of long-term wear and tear.
Botox is commonly associated with cosmetic practices, but the injectable has proven benefits for treating TMJ disorder, as well. Often, TMJ disorder is caused by tension in the jaw muscles. By injecting Botox directly into these muscles, the treatment can quickly alleviate temporomandibular tension. If your symptoms are the result of teeth grinding, you may be a good candidate for Botox injection. The injections take 10 to 20 minutes to administer. Although the non-surgical treatment is generally not considered painful, we offer sedation dentistry to individuals who are nervous or anxious about undergoing the treatment.
However, if these treatments do not prove effective, one of our doctors may recommend surgery.
Begin Treating Your TMJ Disorder Today
The vast majority of our patients find relief from TMJ disorder through non-surgical treatments. If you have been living with regular jaw pain, you can trust the expert dental team at Navid Family Dental Associates to properly address your condition with compassion and care. To schedule your TMJ disorder consultation, please contact our office online or call (978) 532-5550.