Worn teeth, facial pain, jaw discomfort, and regular headaches are all signs of a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Commonly referred to as TMJ, the temporomandibular joint is what connects the jawbone to the skull. There is one located on each side of your jaw.
When there is dysfunction in the TMJ, it can lead to painful or uncomfortable symptoms. Many factors can contribute to TMJ disorder. Factors may include repeated trauma, genetics, or even arthritis. Many patients with a TMJ disorder grind or clench their teeth. Bruxism (teeth grinding) can be the result of a misaligned bite which leads to dysfunction in the TMJ.
Fayetteville restorative dentist Dr. Richard Keech offers a full range of solutions for patients dealing with a TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, and other associated bite disorders. He takes a comprehensive approach to diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. To build the most effective treatment plan, Dr. Keech will evaluate your joints, muscles, and jaw to check for signs of damage and instability.
Our team looks for signs of teeth grinding and TMJ disorder during your routine dental visit. In many cases, early intervention is key to preventing further dental complications.
What Causes TMJ?
There are a number of factors that may contribute to TMJ. For example:
- Dental trauma
- Crooked teeth or malocclusion
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Joint damage
- Lifestyle habits
Treating TMJ can alleviate some of the symptoms you may feel as well as improve your dental health. A proper bite is key to chewing, speaking, and smiling with confidence.
What Are The Symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms of TMJ disorder will depend on the severity of your case. Some patients may experience more profound symptoms than others.
- Clicking or popping sound when moving the jaw
- Facial pain
- Jaw pain or discomfort
- Chronic headache
- Difficulty chewing
- Worn teeth
- Pressure or pain in the ears
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Keech for a thorough exam and assessment of your dental concerns and symptoms.
What Are The Treatment Options For TMD?
After a complete dental exam and a discussion of your symptoms, Dr. Keech will build a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms and restore function to your smile. The type of treatment you may receive will depend on the underlying cause of TMJ disorder as well as the extent of tooth damage you’ve sustained.
Common Treatments for TMJ Disorder
- Mouthguard/Sleep guard: A sleep guard is very similar to a mouthguard. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent teeth grinding and clenching during sleep. This allows your jaw muscles to rest.
- Restorative Dentistry: If the biting surfaces of the teeth are damaged or need to be rebalanced, Dr. Keech may recommend placing a dental crown or using tooth bonding to correct your bite.
- Orthodontics: To realign crooked or misaligned teeth, we may recommend orthodontics. Dr. Keech offers ClearCorrect as a solution for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic conditions.
If you are seeking TMJ treatment in Fayetteville, AR, visit our team at Keech Family Dentistry. We can work with you to restore balance and health to your smile.