Relieving the Tension of TMJ Disorder

Relieving the Tension of TMJ Disorder By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on June 26, 2015

Patients who frequently suffer from headaches, have difficulty opening the mouth, and feel a painful clicking when they open and close their mouth likely suffer from temporomandibular disorder, more commonly known as TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint connects to the skull in front of each ear, and it gives people the ability to move the jaw up and down and from side to side. When there is pain in this area, dental treatment can help. General dentistry services and restorative dentistry treatments to address misalignment and decay can all be helpful in improving the function of the temporomandibular joint and relieving the discomfort of TMJ disorder. At Family Dental Care, we offer TMJ treatment to our Jackson patients in order to restore comfort and improve oral functions.

Home Treatments for TMJ Disorder

There are some home remedies that patients can try to alleviate the pain of TMJ disorder. While these treatments do not address the source or cause of TMJ disorder, they may offer relief to some patients. At-home treatments for the symptoms of TMJ disorder include the following:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication
  • The use of hot and cold packs
  • Resting the jaw and avoiding strenuous jaw movements
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Facial massage

Dental Treatments for TMJ Disorder

While at-home treatments may offer some relief from TMJ disorder, the most effective way to treat the source of the condition is by undergoing professional treatment. Our dentists can examine the jaw and develop a treatment plan that can improve the movement of the temporomandibular joint and reduce pain. Below are some treatment options that may be considered for our patients:

  • Bite therapy: Misalignment of the jaw is a common cause of TMJ disorder. We offer several bite therapy appliances that can realign the jaw and relieve the pressure and tension that the misalignment puts on the jaw joints. Some of the bite therapy appliances that we offer include the NTI tension suppression system, the Best-Bite™ Discluder, and the Tanner Bite Appliance.
  • Custom-fit night guards: Custom-fit night guards benefit our patients in two ways. First, they hold the jaw in proper alignment while a patient sleeps. Second, a night guard prevents patients from grinding or clenching their teeth while they sleep, both of which are believed to contribute to TMJ disorder.
  • Orthodontic treatment: If the teeth and jaw are severely misaligned, patients may require orthodontic treatment to effectively improve the bite and treat TMJ disorder. We offer patients comfortable and convenient orthodontic treatment in the form of Invisalign®, invisible aligners.
  • Restorative treatment: The condition of the teeth can also affect a patient’s bite. If the teeth have become worn down by damage or decay (particularly the back teeth), it can cause minor misalignment that may result in TMJ disorder. Restorative dentistry treatments can address this problem to improve the alignment of the bite.

Contact Us

If you frequently experience facial pain or headaches, or feel tension when you try to open and close your mouth, you may be suffering from TMJ disorder. To find out about our diagnosis and treatment plans, contact us at Family Dental Care at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you.