TMJ Treatment Overview
Do you sometimes hear or feel a clicking or popping in your jaw when you’re chewing or speaking? Does your jaw sometimes lock open, and is it sometimes painful to chew or speak? These are all symptoms of TMD (sometimes called TMJ), or temporomandibular joint disorder. It can range from mild to severe, but fortunately there are a number of TMJ treatment options available for all levels of severity.
What Is TMJ/TMD?
TMD is actually not a single disorder, but rather a category of a number of disorders, all affecting the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is basically a hinge joint that allows your lower jaw to open, close, and move around. When this joint is damaged or injured, the resulting problems are categorized as TMD.
What Causes TMD?
Because TMD covers a range of injuries and disorders, it also has a range of conditions that can cause or exacerbate it, including but not limited to:
- Injuries to the jaw
- Bite misalignment
- Certain autoimmune diseases
- Prolonged tension in the temporomandibular joint
Depending on the cause of the TMD/TMJ, treatment can vary. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Realigning a misaligned bite.
- Wearing a bite guard or splint at night.
- Taking nSAIDs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) or muscle relaxers.
- Practicing relaxation techniques.
- Correcting or replacing crowns and other dental work causing crooked or misaligned teeth.
If your TMJ/TMD is caused by grinding your teeth at night, for example, your dentist in Cherry Hill may recommend that you wear a bite guard or splint when you go to sleep to avoid damage to your teeth from grinding and to help with your TMJ symptoms. In most cases, some simple, non-invasive TMJ treatment techniques like this can help alleviate the pain and other symptoms of TMD, though surgery is needed in some severe cases.
Contact Our Cherry Hill Dentist for TMJ Treatment