Has your jaw been hurting every day? Does it make a clicking sound whenever you open it? Have you been having headaches more often lately? Each year, over 75 million people suffer from these problems and don’t understand why. Fortunately, your dentist just may have the answer to what’s going on – as well as the solution to the problem. Read on to learn more about when you might need TMJ therapy in Colorado Springs.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, what connects your jaw to your skull; you use it every day while eating and talking. The joint is located on either side of your face, just in front of the ear. A TMJ disorder is when this joint does not function properly, causing a variety of issues.
Usually, a TMJ disorder is caused by poor alignment. When the joint is misaligned with the surrounding bones and muscles, it can create tension in your jaw. One possible cause could be the shape of your teeth preventing your jaw from closing correctly. It may also be a result of an injury or a form of arthritis; other possible causes may include teeth grinding, poor posture, stress, or gum chewing.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
Since the condition involves the joint between the jaw and the skull, TMJ disorder is often directly linked to persistent jaw pain and stiffness. Other potential symptoms include:
- Popping or clicking whenever you open or close your mouth
- Jaw locking
- A popping or ringing sound in the ears
- Headaches or pain in the temple area
- Pain in the neck or shoulders
- Grinding your teeth at night
How Can My Dentist Help with My TMJ Disorder?
Your dentist can confirm whether you have TMJ disorder by identifying the source of tension. They can prescribe a form of TMJ therapy that readjusts your jaw to alleviate the pressure and stress.
One form of TMJ therapy is occlusal equilibration, which is used when the source of misalignment is the shape of the chewing surfaces of your teeth. The treatment slightly reshapes your teeth in a way that allows the jaw to rest comfortably.
In other cases, you may need an oral appliance customized for your mouth. It can adjust your jaw to naturally fall into a better resting position. As another benefit, it can be used to address nighttime teeth grinding and clenching.
TMJ disorder can be a daily struggle, but luckily it can be directly addressed. If you suspect a TMJ-related problem, call your dentist right away; they’ll be able to confirm whether the joint really is the cause of your symptoms and treat it accordingly. Don’t live with your jaw pain any longer than you need to!
About the Practice
At Aesthetic Dentistry by Design, Drs. Kenneth O. Gasper II and James Orban each have decades of dental experience and consistently strive to provide patients with excellent care. Dr. Gasper is specially trained to identify the source of TMJ in order to create a treatment plan. Dr. Orban specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. For questions about jaw pain, contact the practice through their website or by calling (719) 599-0700.