What Is TMJ Disorder and How Can Your Dentist Help?
November is National TMJ Awareness Month. At Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry, we use the opportunity to educate our patients about the temporomandibular joints and TMJ disorder in addition to what we can do to help provide relief.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ is the abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. Each person has two on either side of their face. The temporomandibular joints are the joints responsible for moving your jaw in all directions. They make it possible for you to open and close your mouth, move your jaw from side to side, chew, and speak.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
Also sometimes referred to as TMD or as just “TMJ,” TMJ disorder refers to several different conditions (underlying causes) that affect the proper, pain-free movement and positioning of the temporomandibular joints.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder can cause several signs and symptoms including:
How TMJ Disorder Is Treated
The first step in treating TMJ disorder is to determine what’s causing the problem with the jaw’s movement or position. There are countless underlying conditions that can result in TMJ disorder. Some of the most common include:
In addition to physically examining a patient’s TMJs and bite patterns, dentists can use a variety of diagnostic tools to help them determine the underlying cause of a patient’s symptoms. This might include a variety of diagnostic imaging tests such as x-rays and even CBCT scanning.
Once we have determined the underlying cause, we can recommend a treatment plan designed to help your specific case of TMJ disorder. Treatments for TMJ disorder can include mouthguards, nightguards, braces or other orthodontics, Botox injections, and corrective surgery.
TMJ Disorder Treatment and Relief in Kenmore, WA
At Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry, we work closely with patients to get to the bottom of their TMJ-related symptoms to determine the type of TMJ disorder they are dealing with. We can then recommend a personalized treatment plan designed to address the patient’s specific needs while alleviating symptoms and helping to correct the underlying issue.