Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, known as TMJ or TMD, is a condition with a wide and sometimes strange variety of symptoms.
The temporomandibular joint is where your jaw connects to your head. Problems with this joint cause popping and clicking when you move your mouth, headaches, teeth pain, dizziness, migraines, and a number of other symptoms. In fact, TMJ can even cause pain into your shoulder.
You may experience pain while chewing, even though your teeth are fine, and your jaws may lock open unexpectedly. Your ears may hurt for no good reason.
TMJ can be caused by accident or trauma, grinding and clenching your teeth (either awake or asleep), a misaligned bite, and stress. The cause of a person’s symptoms can’t always be determined, and it’s likely that research will discover other causes. TMJ affects an estimated 5 to 12 percent of the U.S.population.
Living with TMJ can be misery, and people’s careers and relationships often suffer as a result. As with any other chronic pain condition, people with TMJ can experience depression. Fortunately, there are a number of options that can provide relief.
How is TMD Treated?
There are a number of medical treatment options for TMJ:
- Relaxation training to lessen clenching and grinding
- Over the counter or prescribed pain medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Hot and cold packs
- Changing your diet to softer foods
Dental Treatment Options
There are also dental treatments that are proven to help many people with TMJ.
Self-diagnosing your aches and pains is never a good idea. However, if what you’re experiencing is similar to the symptoms described above, call our Louisville, KY office. Dr. Gill can confirm whether TMJ is the problem and determine whether a dental approach to treating the disorder is the best option for you.
A significant number of people with TMD symptoms grind and clench their teeth during sleep. A customized nightguard, which is similar to an athletic mouthguard, keeps your teeth from meeting while you sleep. You’ll no longer be wearing down your tooth enamel or awaken with aching jaws.
A nightguard shouldn’t be used in place of an athletic mouthguard. Mouthguards are designed to withstand heavy impacts. However, wearing a mouthguard during exercise may help ease some of the symptoms of TMD by reducing the pressure if you clench your jaws while exerting yourself.
Dr. Gill can provide you with a custom athletic mouthguard should you wish.
Botox is widely used for facial enhancements, but it also has medical use to stop chronic muscle spasms. Botox injections can provide significant relief from TMJ by relaxing certain facial muscles.
Don’t Live in Misery
If the symptoms of TMJ have been detracting from the quality of your life, it’s time to take action. Call Natural Smiles today at 502-785-8695 or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gill.
We’ll be happy to find a day and time that work with your schedule, and you can be on your way to a better quality of life.