TMJ Treatment in Barrington, RI
At Maple Avenue Family Dentistry, we have extensive experience treating temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) at our state-of-the-art practice. This disorder can be chronic and cause significant unease and even pain for those who have it. It is often caused by teeth grinding and clenching. But misaligned bites, arthritis, and jaw injuries are also common causes. Fortunately, there are plenty of treatments available. Our team is skilled at devising strategies for addressing the condition and restoring function and happiness to our patients’ lives. Our goal is to keep your smile and oral health in tip-top shape, and our work with patients who have TMJ speaks volumes about our successes. So, if you think you might have TMJ, read on and contact our office today. We can help.
What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)?
The temporomandibular joints are located on either side of your jawbone. Essentially, they are hinged joints that connect your jaw to your skull. They make it possible to open and close your mouth and move the jaw from side to side. Surrounded by muscles and ligaments, they enable you to speak, chew, and swallow normally. Unfortunately, TMD impacts your temporomandibular joints negatively and makes those things more difficult to do. The condition causes many symptoms, but the most common one is discomfort. Our team understands this disorder and how to treat it.
Understanding the TMD Symptoms
It might not seem like it, but it is good that there are so many TMD symptoms. While they might be uncomfortable or even painful, the wide array of symptoms makes it much easier for patients and dentists to diagnose the condition. And once we can diagnose your TMD, we can begin implementing one of many possible solutions to the problem. Some symptoms of TMD include:
- Popping or clicking noises coming from the jawbone
- Inner ear pain
- Chronic headaches
- Facial pain
- Jaw soreness
- Jack locks open or closed
How Our Dental Team Diagnoses TMD
Before we can implement strategies for curing or reducing your TMD, we must examine your jaw to arrive at a concrete diagnosis. First, we will evaluate the joint tissue in the jaw’s hinge. We keep an eye out for joint tissue deterioration and damaged joint tissue because it cushions your jawbones when you open and closes your mouth. Once we diagnose you with the disorder, we can begin work treating it. In mild cases, cold and hot compresses can dramatically – yet temporarily – reduce the symptoms. But more severe cases require a more in-depth solution. Potential treatment regimens include:
- Cosmetic Dentistry: Because a misaligned bite is a common cause of TMD, sometimes we need to do what we can to re-align your mouth. Implants, bridges, crowns, and even orthodontics can help.
- Mouthguards: Many patients’ TMD is caused by teeth grinding. In most cases, they are not aware of the problem because it happens at night. A mouthguard can help remedy the situation.
- Exercises: For patients who grind their teeth, we often point to stress as an aggravating factor. We have several exercises that can relax the jaw and reduce the impact of stress.
- Lifestyle Changes: On the same note, figuring out ways to reduce stress can go a long way toward reducing the impact of TMD or eliminating it altogether.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation: It sounds scary, but we promise it is not! This treatment uses a small want to send small electrical pulses to your jaw muscles, encouraging them to relax and align.
The Long-Term Consequences of TMD
We do not recommend ignoring your condition for long. Like many other health issues, the temporomandibular joint disorder can worsen over time, and it can cause other problems. It can deteriorate your healthy tooth structure, cause inflammation and degradation, create chronic migraines or headaches, cause ringing in the ears, and increase the risk of sleep apnea. The best thing you can do is visit our office to seek treatment for the condition. Doing so will not only bring immediate relief but will also avoid some of these unpleasant long-term consequences.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Patients are important to us at Maple Avenue Family Dentistry. We want them to experience happiness and joy in their lives. But the temporomandibular joint disorder is an ailment that can seriously hinder those two qualities. At our practice, we implement strategies that have a dramatic impact, ensuring you can go through your daily life free from the symptoms of TMD. No matter how severe your condition might be, you can count on us to deliver a solution that works. Contact us today for more information.