To discover if you are a candidate for TMJ treatment means understanding just what TMJ is in the first place. The acronym stands for temporomandibular jaw, and it is why you will see both TMJ and TMD (temporomandibular disorder) used to describe the same issue. At Maniscalco Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Birmingham, AL, we offer TMJ treatment to address this painful and challenging issue, and we encourage you to read more to learn if you may be suffering from TMJ.
What is TMJ?
So, what exactly is TMJ or TMD? It is when there are problems in the enormous TMJ which connects your lower jaw to your head. It is a very flexible joint and moves in all directions, yet it can also become stiff and painful. Experts are not exactly certain what causes the problems, but the symptoms are always quite similar.
As your dentist in Birmingham, we will determine if you are a candidate for TMJ treatment by assessing your symptoms and complaints. Most patients with TMJ or TMD say that they are experiencing ongoing pain in the jaw, neck or face. They may wake to find they have been clenching or grinding their teeth throughout the night. They often hear popping sounds when opening the mouth widely, and they may even struggle with locking as the jaw opens or closes. Headaches are a common sign and you may have oral pain that seems to have no reasonable cause.
Fortunately, TMJ treatment addresses almost all of these issues.
When You Are a Candidate for TMJ Treatment
If our dental team does an assessment and determines that you are a candidate for TMJ treatment, we have several straightforward ways of treating it. One of the simplest is the use of a special night guard that aligns the upper and lower jaws properly and prevents you from grinding or clenching your teeth at night. If this is not a suitable solution, we may suggest Botox injections that effectively relax the muscles of the entire TMJ area and block nerve impulses that trigger pain responses.