According to the American Dental Association, roughly 15 percent of Americans are affected by jaw joint pain, or a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). When not working optimally, jaw joints can become strained and cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches.
To learn more about this dental condition and how we can help, please call Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center in Aurora at 303-751-3321.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on each side of your jaw. They are hinged joints connecting the jaw to the skull. The TMJs make it possible to open and close your mouth, and to move your jaw from side to side. They are surrounded by muscles and ligaments. You use the joints, muscles and ligaments every time you speak, chew or swallow.
Anytime a problem interferes with the efficient function of the TMJs, discomfort may result. This strain or inefficient function of the TMJs is typically what we refer to as a TMJ disorder (TMD).
- Popping or clicking from the jaw
- Inner ear pain
- Chronic headaches
- Facial pain
- Jaw soreness
- Jaw locks open or closed
These symptoms may be a sign that the muscles, ligaments and jaw joints are not working harmoniously. Muscle strain, tension or problems with the bones or the joint itself may be the cause. Specifically, common causes include:
- Teeth grinding
- Teeth clenching
- Misaligned bite
- Jaw joint dislocation
- Jaw injury
The only way to know if your symptoms are caused by TMJ/TMD or another issue is to visit our experienced dentists. We can evaluate your symptoms and your bite, and review your dental history, as well as perform other assessments as part of determining the cause of your discomfort.
To relieve discomfort coming from your jaw joints, treatments will focus on correcting the root cause. Oftentimes this means making sure your jaw and bite are properly aligned and not causing strain on the joints. It may also mean correcting any misalignment that is straining the surrounding muscles and nerves.
Potential treatment options include:
- Restoring teeth to align and balance the bite
- Prescribing a night guard to prevent teeth grinding
- Discussing stress reduction techniques to alleviate jaw tension
- Orthodontic treatment to reposition your teeth to be in harmony with the joints
Our dentists are committed to presenting all of your treatment options and helping you build a plan that meets your goals and expectations. With proper dental care, you can once again enjoy the full function of your teeth and jaws without pain and discomfort.
Your TMJ Evaluation
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of a TMJ disorder, please call Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center at 303-751-3321 to arrange your consultation. Our practice is located in Aurora, and we proudly provide care for people from Denver, Centennial and all of the surrounding areas.