Does your jaw pop constantly? Are you routinely waking up in the morning with a headache?
“TMJ” has become the catch-all term used to describe a range of symptoms that are the result of a bite disorder, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). The variety of causes, wide-ranging symptoms, and complexity of the masticatory system can make diagnosis and treatment of TMJ challenges. Dr. Patel works with patients who suffer from the common signs of a bite disorder on an individual basis. He will identify and address underlying dental problems, and possible structural concerns related to jaw joints. Get relief from jaw pain discomfort with personalized dental care for a healthier and more comfortable smile.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
There are a range of symptoms that contribute to Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. It is up to you to disclose your symptoms to your dentist in Westborough MA for an accurate diagnosis. Patients with TMJ often experience one or more of the following common symptoms:
- Jaw pain, clicking or popping jaw
- Frequent headaches, temporal pain
- Difficulty chewing comfortably
- Ear pain, ringing in the ears
- Neck, shoulder pain or tension
- Teeth clenching
- Teeth grinding
- Chronic jaw tension
We will evaluate the function of your bite and discuss any discomfort you may be experiencing. Recommended treatment is dependent upon existing tooth damage, and the condition and function of your bite. In other words, we can only recommend a specific treatment after you have visited us and gotten a thorough dental exam. She will diagnose the underlying cause of your TMJ-related disorder by conducting a thorough oral analysis. There is a range of possible causes for a bite problem, from malocclusion to trauma, to genetics affecting jaw development. Therefore it is vital to communicate any other health issues and health history.
Treating TMJ in Westborough, MA
The most conservative and first line of treatment in a majority of cases is the use of a nightguard. This device is a small oral appliance shaped much like a custom sports mouthguard. It will reposition your jaw into place and also prevent teeth grinding, a common symptom. A night guard is custom-made to fit snugly over your teeth and can be worn nightly, or when feeling stressed to avoid tooth damage.
To address tooth damage or to adjust the fit of your bite, we may recommend restorative treatments such as tooth bonding, dental crowns, an inlay, or onlays. Restorative dentistry aims at rebuilding your teeth. If the damage is too severe and requires tooth extraction, we can offer tooth replacement options.
Crooked teeth can also be the cause of a TMJ problem. By straightening your teeth with orthodontics, we can restore balance to your bite, while also addressing discomfort and TMJ dysfunction.
TMJ Frequently Asked Questions
Can I treat TMJ at home?
Yes, you can take steps to alleviate TMJ disorder symptoms at home, but you can not fully “cure” your TMJ disorder without medical assistance. A dentist that specializes in and treats TMJ will need to evaluate your issues in order to give you the best options and recommendations for your unique smile.
How long does it take for TMJ to go away?
There is no way of knowing how long it will take for you to fully alleviate your issues since this disorder affects patients differently. Some patients may need oral surgery for their severe symptoms, while others can use a nightguard or follow at-home remedies recommended by their dentist. Your first step should be visiting a dentist that specializes in TMJ treatment like Westborough Dental Associates.
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
In severe cases where TMJ is left untreated, you can expect severe pain, discomfort, and tension in your jaw and facial muscles. Since this disorder affects patients differently, there is no standard progression we can follow to determine how you will be affected. However, TMJ issues can become debilitating to your normal everyday life. It is best to get evaluated and seek treatment if you notice early signs and symptoms of TMJ.
Schedule a Worry-free TMJ Consultation
If you experience any of these symptoms or are concerned that you may have a bite disorder, discuss your concerns with us at your next dental appointment. Schedule a dental exam for an oral health evaluation with our trusted dentist in Westborough MA. Prompt and effective treatment can often avoid permanent joint damage.