One common issue that our patients experience is TMJ/TMD. In our Rolla office, we can address your TMJ and jaw concerns using wellness-based dental treatment methods. Our dentists are highly familiar with this condition and are well-versed in the proper procedures for diagnosis and treatment. We believe in taking a health-centered approach when it comes to dental health, including TMD, and treating patients by caring for their systemic health as well as the health of their teeth and gums.
What Is TMJ/TMD?
The TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) is the joint situated just in front of your ear, allowing you to move your jaw forward and sideways, as well as to open and shut. Over time, this joint can wear down, and the thin piece of cartilage within it grows thin, causing structures to rub against each other, which produces pain. This is referred to either as TMJ Disorder or as TMD (Temporomandibular Dysfunction).
TMD can be genetic or develop when some habits, such as clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, tire your TMJ and lead to headaches or neck pain. Your teeth can also become worn or sensitive from excessive clenching or grinding. Eventually, the added strain can lead to the TMJ becoming strained or damaged. As the TMJ continues to wear down or be strained, your lower jaw may hit nerves and blood vessels, leading to pain when using your jaw.
Signs & Side Effects of TMJ/TMD
Physical indicators that a patient may be experiencing TMJ Disorder or TMD include the following:
- Locking or limited range when opening mouth
- Soreness or pain when opening or closing mouth
- Clicking or popping noises in the TMJ
TMJ and TMD can cause muscle soreness, headaches and migraines, difficulty opening your mouth, dizziness, pain behind your eyes, numbness or tingling in extremities such as fingers, and sleeping problems. If you have strong headaches or ringing ears along with aching muscles, you may have TMD or TMJ. If you have been diagnosed with migraines or if medicine doesn’t relieve your pain, consider treatment for TMJ and TMD.
Signs of TMJ and TMD can also present themselves in your dental health. Patients with these conditions often clench or grind their teeth, leading to worn, broken, chipped, or loose teeth. If you have had similar soreness or pain to the symptoms listed above, or have questions about TMJ/TMD treatment, call our Rolla, Missouri dentist office today.
What Is the Best Treatment?
One of the foremost causes of TMJ and TMD is having an unstable chewing system. An improper or shifted bite with misaligned or missing teeth is often unstable, preventing the lower jaw bone from resting in the proper position within the joint and leading your chewing muscles to work harder than they’re meant to, your joint to become displaced, and your teeth to wear down prematurely.
After a proper diagnosis, we treat your TMD or TMJ with methods such as bite splints, teeth refittings, crowns, orthodontics, or on rare occasions, surgery on the joint itself. We prefer to use minimally invasive procedures with our patients, such as bite splints and teeth refittings, but are equipped to perform all types of treatments.
Book an Appointment
Our talented practicing dentists, Dr. William Moorkamp, Dr. Stephen Moorkamp, and Dr. Charlie Arthur, use their experience and credentials to address dental and systemic care for improved quality of life. For more information on treating your TMJ/TMD, call our Rolla office and set up an appointment today.