TMJ syndrome, also known as TMD (Temporomandibular disorder) happens whenever there is an issue with the jaw, including its joints and the muscles which work to control chewing and speaking. TMJ in particular refers to the temporomandibular joint itself, which is an important joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. These joints work whenever you speak, yawn, chew, or do relatively anything that involves moving your mouth.
Some of the top symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:
- Pain in the jaw, including pain when chewing.
- Stiffness in the jaw muscles.
- Locked jaw.
- Clicks, pop, and discomfort when moving the jaw.
- A progressively worsening underbite or overbite.
Dr. Thompson, Dr. Kaitlyn Starbody, and Dr. Michael Starbody, as leading dentists in the 37129 area, know that TMJ syndromes can affect anyone, regardless of lifestyle, dietary habits, and medical history. TMJ problems may be hereditary, or they may be caused by the environment. They can be caused by many different conditions, but the treatments involved can often solve them regardless of what the root cause of the issue is, so long as the diagnosis is accurate.
Our TMJ Therapy Includes:
- An examination of your total jaw and joint health. TMJ syndrome can sometimes be related to other symptoms or conditions that our patients are experiencing. To get the best idea of how to treat it, we need to know what may be causing it. With our examination, we can also provide patients with a better understanding of how to cope with their particular type of TMJ syndrome until the treatments become effective.
- A consultation on your treatment options, including cost comparison, timetables, and more. With our consultation, we also provide patients with more information on TMJ itself.
- Drug therapy where appropriate and applicable; anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants may help to reduce the tension that you’re feeling in the jaw, and thus the pain when chewing or eating.
- Physical therapy can help to relax the jaw and increase the range of motion. Treatments that include planning our jaw exercises, proper stretching, and more can all work to create a stronger jaw joint, and a less painful experience.
- Stabilization splints, which in some cases will only need to be worn at night. Like a retainer, these splints help to address some of the issues that you may be experiencing with your bite with a device that is comfortable to wear and can provide noticeable results. The actual length of time that you will need to wear the splint varies on the severity of your TMJ disorder.
With our examination, we can also get a more thorough understanding of your overall dental health, to address any other issues which may be leading to and causing your TMJ discomfort. If you’re a long-time sufferer of jaw pain, clicking, and general discomfort, then you may not even know that you’re dealing with a TMJ disorder. That’s why we offer patients in the Rutherford County, TN area with effective examinations and treatments. Contact our Murfreesboro office today to learn more.