TMJ Treatment, Using Custom-Made Oral Appliances to Relieve Jaw Tension
When your jaw joints become damaged or improperly positioned, you can experience a host of painful and uncomfortable symptoms related to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Fortunately, our team offers effective and non-invasive TMJ treatment. At our Monroe, CT, practice Dr. John G. Fatse and Dr. John S. Scovic use a range of advanced techniques to alleviate jaw pain. Oral appliances are the most common and, typically, most effective solution. These small, custom-made devices can comfortably realign your jaw, relieving pressure in your joints, restoring the balance of your bite, and giving your soft tissues a chance to heal.
TMJ Disorder and Its Causes
Your temporomandibular joints are in near-constant motion. You use them when you eat, speak, and make thousands of unconscious movements every day. However, in addition to continuous use, there are several other factors that can contribute to TMJ disorders, also known as TMD.
- The discs inside your joints can become worn or they can slip out place. Without these cushioning tissues, your TMJs will grate together every time you open or close your mouth.
- Your bite may be out of balance. The resulting uneven pressure on your joints can inflame the soft tissues or damage the joints themselves.
- Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, will put extra stress on your jaw joints. Bruxism itself has several causes, though stress is one of the most common.
- Facial trauma can dislocate your TMJs or cause other types of structural damage.
- Arthritis can inflame any of your joints, including your jaw joints. While osteoarthritis can lead to TMD, rheumatoid arthritis is a more likely culprit.
TMJ disorder will vary from patient to patient, and you must undergo a thorough examination to determine the root cause of your condition.
The Symptoms of TMD
Symptoms of TMJ disorder are as varied as the causes of the condition. Of course, jaw pain is the most frequent complaint. Nevertheless, discomfort can vary in severity and nature. For example, you could be in almost constant pain, or you may only experience discomfort when you move your jaw. Inflammation could spread to the rest of your face, as well as your neck, shoulders, and upper back. Alternatively, you could only suffer from localized pain. Other symptoms of TMD can include:
- Chronic headaches
- Ear pain
- Ringing in your ears
- A feeling of friction or “grating” when you open and close your mouth
- A popping noise when you move your jaw
- Jaw stiffness, which could be so severe that you cannot open or close your mouth all the way
The significant side effects of TMD can severely disrupt your routine and limit your quality of life.
TMJ Disorder Treatment for Long-Term Pain Relief
Whatever your symptoms, Drs. Fatse and Scovic can provide appropriate care to relieve your discomfort. They will base your treatment plan on the fundamental cause of your TMD. Frequently, they will start with an oral appliance, made to fit over your teeth. The primary purpose of the device will be to realign your jaw. Shifting your lower mandible into a proper position can alleviate pressure on both joints. Secondarily, it can prevent you from grinding and clenching your jaw. Our dentists offer several types of comfortable appliances that are all made from impressions of your teeth.
If you have suffered from tooth loss or worn teeth, your bite will be uneven. With crowns, bridges, and dental implants, we can redistribute your bite pressure for lasting relief.
Drs. Fatse and Scovic will often combine additional treatments with a mouthguard to achieve optimal, long-lasting results. Physical therapy is one option. Certain exercises can strengthen your jaw muscles, reduce inflammation, and release tension. Medications are also a temporary solution that can alleviate severe inflammation, giving your mouthguard a chance to take effect. Finally, in some instances, we may suggest restorative dentistry. If you have suffered from tooth loss or worn teeth, your bite will be uneven. With crowns, bridges, and dental implants, we can redistribute your bite pressure for lasting relief.
Alleviate Painful Symptoms
If you are suffering from jaw pain or related TMJ disorder symptoms, we are ready to provide the comprehensive care you need. Contact The Offices of John G. Fatse, DMD, to schedule an appointment or call us at (203) 268-5051.