Do frequently wake to sore teeth or a stiff jaw? If so, you could be living with something that dental professionals describe as TMJ or TMD. These terms are used interchangeably and describe a condition known as temporomandibular jaw disorder. It is a difficult condition, and experts are unsure as to the precise causes, but we do know the clear indicators it is at work and causing pain and trouble. At Maniscalco Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Birmingham, AL, we offer TMJ Treatment in order to alleviate pain and ongoing damage caused by this condition.
The TMJ is the joint that joins your lower jaw to your head. It is powerful joint and if there is a malfunction, such as constant flexing or grinding of the teeth, it becomes an incredibly painful issue. Many patients turn to us as their dentist in Birmingham because of the sudden development of dental sensitivity, the pain in their jaw, or even the difficulty they experience just moving the jaw.
In addition to the classic dental symptoms of TMJ or TMD, you may experience ringing in your ears, find it hard to chew or yawn, and even feel unusual facial pain. Any of these things can be directly related to the problems within the jaw.
Fortunately, TMJ Treatment can often be a very simple issue. We have discovered that the most common forms of successful TMJ Treatment include:
- Special, custom made night guards that prevent you from clenching and grinding the teeth together
- Botox injections that thoroughly relax the muscles in the area (yes, this is the same Botox used for cosmetic treatments!)
- Physical therapy can help to retrain the muscles and undo the stress and tension caused by prolonged periods of clenching and grinding
In more extreme instances, surgery may be the appropriate remedy, but it must begin with an examination by Dr. Maniscalco who can help to diagnose whether you have TMD and need traditional or more advanced TMJ Treatment. The long-term consequences of TMJ can include more than jaw pain, and patients who grind their teeth over the course of many years often experience wear and tear, and even breakage because of the extreme pressure. Worn teeth are more prone to decay, and it just makes sense to get started immediately on treatment to avoid further discomfort or damage.