Treatment for TMJ Disorder in Belmont, MA
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can dramatically affect your life and livelihood. The pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ disorder can make it hard to eat, sleep, concentrate, work, exercise, and spend time with family and friends. Visiting a dentist for an exam and x-rays can provide a formal diagnosis of TMJ disorder, so you can get the TMJ disorder treatment you need to get back to your regular life. At Belmont Dental Group, our experienced, compassionate dental team is committed to giving you the care you need to improve your oral and dental health, and your overall quality of life. If you’re tired of living in pain from TMJ disorder in Belmont, MA, call us today to schedule an appointment.
What Are the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ)?
The temporomandibular joints are two joints on either side of your head that attach your jawbone to your skull. They act like a sliding hinge, allowing your jaw to move from side to side and up and down. When you’re suffering from TMJ disorder symptoms, it may be difficult to move your jaw or eat due to pain, inflammation, stiffness, and tenderness at the sites of the temporomandibular joints.
What Is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition affecting both temporomandibular joints, the jaw muscles, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Any problem that prevents the temporomandibular joints, muscles, nerves, and bones from operating easily and without pain can be classified as a temporomandibular disorder. TMD consists of:
- Myofascial pain – Discomfort, tenderness, or pain in the fascia and muscles that control the jaw, neck, and shoulder.
- Internal derangement of the joint – A dislocated jaw or displaced disc or injury to the jawbone.
- Degenerative joint disease – Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw bone.
Causes of TMD
The temporomandibular joint disorder has a variety of causes, and Belmont Dental Group will do a full exam, take x-rays, record your health history, and ask questions about your pain and symptoms in order to get a better picture of your health. These tests and questions can help determine the underlying cause of your TMD so we can recommend the best TMJ disorder treatment for your symptoms and needs. Here are some of the most common causes of jaw joint disorders:
- disc erosion
- misalignment of the disc
- damage to the joint’s cartilage due to accident, injury, or illnesses like arthritis
- bruxism (grinding your teeth)
- clenching your jaw
Diagnosis of TMJ Disorder
If you have common symptoms of TMJ disorder, visit Belmont Dental Group for a diagnosis. The most common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- jaw pain or tenderness
- pain in one or more of the temporomandibular joints
- aching pain in or around the ear
- trouble chewing or pain while chewing
- aching facial pain
- neck and/or shoulder stiffness and pain
- stiffness or loss of range of motion in the jaw or neck
- locking of the joint, making it difficult to open the mouth
Your dentist at Belmont Dental Group will evaluate your symptoms, take a health history that includes current illnesses and conditions, medications, and past surgeries, and perform an examination. The exam will include physical palpation of the face, temporomandibular joints, jaw, and neck. Your dentist may ask you to do some simple facial exercises to evaluate the range of motion of your jaw. We may also take dental x-rays to determine if there is an underlying cause, like disc erosion, misalignment, or cartilage or joint damage causing your TMJ disorder.
Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder treatment options include medications, physical therapy, lifestyle modification, mouth guards to protect your teeth and jaw from teeth grinding and jaw clenching in sleep, and physical therapy. In rare cases where other treatments aren’t effective or the underlying cause of TMJ disorder requires surgical intervention, your dentist may recommend a surgical procedure.
- Medications – The most effective medication for TMJ disorder treatment includes over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (Advil, Aleve, or other NSAIDs), tricyclic antidepressants, and muscle relaxants.
- Therapies – Physical therapies can offer relief of TMJ disorder symptoms like pain, stiffness, inflammation, headaches, and insomnia. These therapies might include oral splints or mouth guards, and exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles surrounding the jawbone and relieve stiffness.
- Surgical Intervention – If necessary, your dentist may recommend surgical intervention. The most common surgeries performed for TMJ disorder include arthrocentesis, injections, TMJ arthroscopy, modified condylotomy, or open-joint surgery.
Why You Should Come to Belmont Dental Group
When you visit our experienced, compassionate team of dental care specialists at Belmont Dental Group, you’re getting quality care, expert advice, exceptional customer service, and continuing care from a group of professionals who are dedicated to protecting the oral health of our community. Our vision is to be the preferred choice of dental health care in Belmont, MA.
TMJ Disorder Treatment in Belmont, MA
If you’re ready to explore your TMJ disorder treatment options, come see us at Belmont Dental Group in Belmont, MA. We can diagnose your TMJ disorder and provide safe, effective TMJ disorder treatment in Belmont that will allow you to start living your life pain-free. We specialize in TMJ treatment for different levels of severity and different underlying causes of TMJ and offer a customized TMJ treatment plan designed for each specific patient that is targeted to their symptoms, needs, and lifestyle. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call us today or contact us online.