Your temporomandibular joints, are a part of a system that includes all the muscles, ligaments, and jaw bone itself, and is located on either side of your skull. The joints move the lower jaw forward, backward, and side to side. Any problem that hinders this complicated system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones and interferes with its proper functioning can be called a TMJ disorder. Baltimore dentist Dr. Byron Desbordes can diagnose and treat this problem to relieve the discomfort and stop the advance of dental issues caused by TMJ disorders. Call his office at (410) 216-4023 or schedule an appointment online today.
TMJ: Causes and Diagnosis
Possible causes of TMJ disorders include arthritis, dislocation, injury, teeth grinding, and tooth and jaw misalignment. Dr. Desbordes will provide an examination and diagnosis before treatment can begin. The examination should include the dentist checking the joints and muscles of the jaw for tenderness, clicking, popping, or difficulty of movement. Depending on the severity of the TMJ, Dr. Desbordes may refer you out to a physician or a dental specialist for more advanced treatment.
For basic cases, there are a few different at-home remedies that may work. These are simple remedies to try before moving on to more involved treatment, including:
- Eating softer foods
- Avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails
- Applying heat packs to the pain
- Practicing relaxation techniques to alleviate tension in the jaw
If your symptoms are more severe Dr. Desbordes may recommend exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles or muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-inflammatory medications. A mouth guard or bite plate to reduce clenching or grinding of teeth. In some cases, you may be diagnosed with an uneven bite that must be treated by adjusting or reshaping some teeth. Orthodontic treatment may even be recommended if necessary.