Your temporomandibular (TMJ) joint, which connects your jaw to your skull, is necessary for you to open and close your mouth comfortably and easily. If you’re having facial pain or difficulty moving your jaw, you may have a TMJ disorder. Though TMJ disorders can be very painful, they’re easily treatable. Jayshree Sawhney, DDS, and the team at Cranford Dental Arts in Cranford, New Jersey, can help with all your TMJ needs. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.
The TMJ is a joint located on each side of your jaw responsible for controlling the jaw movement. Your TMJ connects your jaw to your skull and is similar to a door hinge.
When your TMJs work normally, they allow you to open and close your mouth easily. They’re necessary for everyday actions like chewing and speaking. A TMJ disorder makes these instinctive behaviors much more difficult and noticeable than they should be.
A TMJ disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes injured or inflamed. If you’ve experienced previous trauma to your jaw (like surgery or an accident), your risk for developing a TMJ disorder is much higher.
Factors like genetics, chronic teeth grinding, and chronic teeth clenching can also increase your risk for problems with your temporomandibular joint. Patients with TMJ disorders experience a number of painful symptoms, including:
Many patients also experience a clicking or grating sensation during jaw movements. The pain can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, you might not be able to open and close your mouth comfortably. The symptoms usually affect one side of your face but can affect both.
If you experience clicking or grating without painful symptoms, it’s likely that your condition won’t require treatment. Still, it’s best to schedule an appointment if you’re concerned about any changes to your jaw’s functioning. Cranford Dental Arts offers a number of effective treatments to help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders.
Before you begin treatment, your dentist performs an examination to diagnose and determine the severity of your condition. Diagnosing a TMJ disorder begins with a physical examination. You and your dentist discuss your symptoms as they check for pain, tenderness, and other abnormalities. Once you’ve been diagnosed, you and the team at Cranford Dental Arts work together to determine the right treatment.
Treatment for your TMJ disorder depends on the severity of your symptoms and the status of your joint health. In most cases, TMJ disorders can be effectively treated through nonsurgical methods like:
Your dentist at Cranford Dental Arts aims to provide relief from your symptoms and address the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder. If tooth grinding is causing your TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend a nightguard. A night guard is a customized device similar to a sports mouthguard that stops your teeth from rubbing against each other.
A TMJ disorder may be a sign of an alignment issue, including an overbite or underbite. Your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign ®, to correct your bite and improve your TMJ symptoms.
To get treatment for jaw pain and other TMJ disorder symptoms, schedule an appointment at Cranford Dental Arts online or over the phone.