TMJ treatment at The Dental Studio in Burnaby
Your temporomandibular joints can be found on either side of your jaw and are responsible for opening and closing the jaw during eating and speaking. Sometimes, patients experience pain, tenderness and tension in the jaw joints. There are many muscles in this area as well, which can sometimes become tight or tense and cause pain.
Patients often refer to this pain and tension as ‘TMJ’. However, the acronym TMJ simply stands for temporomandibular joint, which everyone has. The localized pain in the TMJ area is called TMJ syndrome, or TMJ disorder, or TMD( temporomandibular joint disorder).
There are many different causes of TMJ syndrome or disorder. For many patients, more than one factor is contributing to the pain that they are experiencing. Contributing factors include:
- Misalignment of the teeth or jaw. When the jaw and/or teeth are not correctly aligned, uneven pressure can lead to pain and tension in the jaw joints.
- Arthritis. Pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis can sometime manifest in the jaw joints, as well as other parts of the body.
- Bruxism. Clenching or grinding the teeth, either consciously or unconsciously(such as during sleep) can cause or worsen symptoms.
- Stress. Stress can worsen clenching, grinding and tension in the jaw.
Treatment will depend on the cause of your TMJ syndrome. Orthodontics may be necessary to correct a bad bite if misalignment is determined to be the problem. Your dentist may also decide that you need a nightguard to help alleviate pressure on your jaw if bruxism is the causing the pain. Nighguards are custom made to fit your teeth, and are made of a clear plastic. You can even wear your nightguard during the day if you are comfortable doing so. This may be helpful if you find you clench your jaw or teeth during the day. Stress management techniques may help you if you find that stress or anxiety is exacerbating your condition. For acute pain, over the counter pain relievers such as Advil can temporarily give you some relief from the pain. You may also opt for a pain reliever that includes a muscle relaxant such as Motrin.
At the Dental Studio in Burnaby, we will take into accout your dental and medical history and give you a thorough examination to determine what is causing you to have TMJ pain. In most cases, TMJ disorder is completely manageable and treatable. Call us to book an appointment today if you are experiencing TMJ pain.