TMJ Diagnosis and Treatment
What is TMJ?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or also known as TMJ, is acute or chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint that acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Dysfunction can lead to pain and discomfort. Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be:
- Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
- Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Dull, aching pain in the face
- Earache (particularly in the morning)
- Headache (particularly in the morning)
- Hearing loss
- Migraine (particularly in the morning)
- Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
- Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
- Neck and shoulder pain
How Can You Treat TMJ?
Your dentist will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw. Your doctor will listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth, observe the range of motion in your jaw, and press around your jaw to identify any pain or discomfort.
If your’re suspected of having TMJ, you may need dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw, a CT scan of the bones involved in the joint, or an MRI to reveal problems with the surrounding soft tissue.
Properly diagnosing and treating TMJ can help ease the following symptoms:
- Jaw noise
- Muscle tension
If your TMJ stems from teeth grinding or clenching, your dentist may recommend that you wear a custom mouth guard at night. This dental appliance will keep your upper teeth from grinding against your lower teeth. Along with helping to alleviate TMJ symptoms and pain, this guard will prevent wear on your teeth from grinding that can lead to other problems.
Schedule An Appointment
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, or have been told by another healthcare provider that you may have TMJ, give us a call for an appointment. Our Gilbert dentists can evaluate you for TMJ and offer treatment solutions.