Your temporomandibular joint is a joint in the jaw that is a soft cartilage disk that assists with sliding motions. This disc ensures that the jaw moves smoothly when opening and closing. You have two of these joints on either side of your jaw and it connects your jaw to your skull.
TMJ is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint when it has become damaged or defective due to a medical condition like arthritis, injury, damage from teeth grinding, or a misaligned bite. No specific cause of TMJ is known but something causes improper functioning of the joint which leads to pain and compromised jaw movement. Contact us at Fremont Family Dentistry to schedule a consultation.
Another treatment for TMJ is Botox.
Dr. Lamprecht will perform an oral exam and assess your symptoms to determine if you have TMJ. X-rays can also reveal problems with the joint’s disc.
Once you have a TMJ diagnosis, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab that will create a custom mouthguard for you to wear to sleep.
A tailor-made nightguard will be fabricated based on your impressions so that it perfectly fits your bite. This will prevent damage to your teeth from teeth grinding and will prevent jaw strain when you sleep which will help to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ.
Once we’ve received your nightguard from the dental lab, you’ll come into the office to pick it up and begin wearing it to sleep. We may schedule another follow-up appointment to check if your symptoms have improved.
Up to 30% of the population has TMJ.
It is so important to treat TMJ early to prevent complications that can occur from years of pain, strain, exhaustion, and damage. If you have TMJ, you may have a misaligned bite or grind your teeth at night.
This puts your teeth at high risk for damage if you don’t wear a mouthguard to sleep. Many patients break their teeth from exerting too much force on their teeth each night. Wearing a mouthguard will protect your teeth. It can also protect your hearing.
When patients deal with severe TMJ for years, it can lead to tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears. This can make it more difficult to hear and it can make it frustrating trying to sleep.
Jaw pain and jaw immobility can also make it difficult to speak, chew your food, and open your jaw wide. Getting treatment as soon as possible will prevent these complications down the road so you don’t have to deal with sleep, feeding, and hearing problems or chronic pain.
There isn’t one single cause of TMJ.