TMJ disorder (TMD, TMJD, or just “TMJ” for short) is a painful condition that can make it difficult to eat or talk. In many situations, TMJ problems are caused by irregular joint movement or overuse. This may be due to habits like clenching, underlying sleep apnea, a misaligned bite, or a stressful work environment.
Diagnosis & Treatment
During your TMJ exam, we will evaluate the anatomy and movement of your mandible (lower jaw) and how your teeth bite together. We’ll also be screening for symptoms like:
Headaches or migraines
Worn, flat, or chipped teeth
Broken dental work
Popping and clicking in your jaw
Deviation when you open/close
Treatment Options Available
While overuse (like gum chewing) or a stressful lifestyle can be addressed on a personal basis, our South Hadley dentist may recommend one of the following types of therapies to manage or treat the cause of your TMJ disorder:
TMJ overuse leads to tension and pain in the muscles surrounding your joint. Most of the time, this is attributed to clenching and grinding (bruxism) during the day or while you sleep. A protective guard can ease muscle tension and prevent unwanted wear.
Is a misaligned bite causing your TMJ to strain every time you eat? Talking about braces or fine-tuning your smile could help your teeth and jaws to work more efficiently.
Cosmetic products such as Botox show positive results when used to manage TMJ pain and migraines. How? Because they act as natural muscle relaxers and are safe for use across the face.
The way your teeth bite together is a delicate relationship that requires absolute harmony across your mouth. If a tooth is too high or a restoration (like a crown or filling) needs to be leveled out, we can make adjustments to where the teeth bite against one another to reduce an imbalance, which consequently radiates into your TMJ.