Many people suffer from problems of the temporomandibular joint. Temporomandibular joint disorders are often referred to as simply TMJ. If you have some form of TMJ, you are likely to experience noticeable symptoms. Jaw pain and stiffness, popping or clicking noises issuing from the jaw, and migraines are all signs of TMJ. Fortunately, your dentist can help you better understand the condition and possible treatment options.
There is no one definitive cause of TMJ, but dentists do know that certain conditions and habits can lead to or worsen disorders of the temporomandibular joint. Clenching and grinding the teeth at night is a primary cause, as is tightening the jaw muscles constantly in response to stress. Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint or diseases that affect the soft cushioning in the joint can also lead to TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ can be very similar to symptoms of other dental issues, so your dentist will perform a thorough exam before making a diagnosis. This may include a physical exam, a review of your health history, and a full face x-ray to see how the jaw joint is aligned. In some cases, an MRI exam or CT scan may be needed to make a definitive diagnosis.
The way your dentist chooses to treat your TMJ will depend largely on what's causing it. For mild cases, simple jaw stretches may be all that's necessary. For temporomandibular joint disorders caused or worsened by teeth grinding at night, a night guard may be in order. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed in cases of arthritis. For extreme cases, surgery may be required to address the source of the problem.
If you think you may have TMJ, or if you need general or cosmetic dental care in Scottsdale, contact Studio B Smiles. We provide a wide range of services from TMJ therapy and migraine treatment to cosmetic services such as teeth whitening, veneers, and Invisalign. Feel free to visit our website to learn more about our practice, or call (480) 860-0092 to schedule your appointment today.