The temporomandibular joints are located on each side of the head and assist with chewing, swallowing, and speaking. TMJ pain occurs when this intricate system of muscles, bones, ligaments, and discs fails to work as efficiently as it normally would. Ailments of the TMJ region can be caused by a variety of things, including injury,…
5 Questions To Ask a TMJ Dentist
A TMJ dentist is a dental professional that focuses on treating conditions that negatively affect the structures of the temporomandibular joint. Continue reading to find out more about TMJ disorder and what the dentist does.
5 Common questions to ask a TMJ dentist
Outlined below are five questions to ask a TMJ dentist. In addition to these common questions, the answers are also provided, which can be helpful to review when suffering from the disorder or when supporting someone suffering from TMJ disorder.
1. How is TMJ disorder treated?
TMJ dentists treat the disorder via a number of measures, depending on the severity, patient preference, and what is most suitable for one's health. To start, simple changes might be implemented, such as avoiding certain foods that require extra chewing. If anxiety or stress is the cause, counseling may be recommended.
In addition, more serious measures for treating TMJ disorder might include the administration of muscle relaxers or injections, both of which produce promising results. In other cases, a surgical procedure in which metal plates are placed directly into the joint might be needed.
A night-guard or mouthguard may be recommended in addition to all treatments as it can help prevent clenching of the jaw or teeth grinding.
2. What causes TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder does not always have a clear cause. In fact, a lot of individuals who suffer from the disorder will never know what caused it. However, in some cases, there are a few factors that play a role in why it develops. Below are some of the most common causes according to a TMJ dentist.
- Stress or anxiety can cause individuals to clench their jaw or grind their teeth excessively, which can lead to the development of TMJ disorder
- The disc in the temporomandibular joint can erode from wear and tear
- The disc in the temporomandibular joint can move out of place, damaging the alignment, which ultimately causes dysfunction
- Injury can lead to TMJ disorder, whether it be sports-related or a simple blow to the face
- Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint can cause severe damage leading to dysfunction
3. What does a TMJ dentist do?
A TMJ dentist is a dental professional who practices general dentistry, however, they may undergo additional training or education to learn more about TMJ disorders. This training will include learning how to diagnose, manage, and best treat the condition on varying levels.
TMJ dentists, of course, can provide general dentistry services to patients in need. However, the scope of their work will include diagnosing TMJ disorder, managing it, and attempting to come up with the most suitable treatment plan. Their days may include trial and error treatments to determine what works and what does not.
4. What are the warning signs of TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder presents itself via a number of different symptoms. Each individual may experience their own symptoms, however, there are a few common ones that most individuals experience. They may include:
- Jaw locking or clicking consistently
- Severe pain in the jaw, neck, teeth, or cheek area
- Uncontrollable jaw clenching and teeth grinding
- Tightness in the jaw when opening and closing the mouth, such as when eating or speaking
- Soreness in the jaw area
- Chronic headaches
If any of these symptoms are detected, a TMJ dentist should be one's first call. An evaluation can be performed to determine if TMJ disorder is indeed present, thus requiring a treatment plan.
5. Is TMJ disorder permanent or can it be cured?
If the treatments above are successful at reducing or eliminating TMJ disorder symptoms then technically, it can be cured. Of course, there might be a lot of trial and error with different treatments to determine what is most suitable for each individual.
A TMJ dentist will work to create a regimen that eventually phases symptoms out but it is also important to know that a lot of individuals experience some mild form of symptoms for most of their lives. In most cases, it might be minor jaw clicking from time to time or stiffness or soreness.
Get relief from TMJ disorder
TMJ disorder is one that requires the attention of a dental health professional, otherwise, there can be lifelong consequences. Because of this, it is highly advised to consult with a TMJ dentist as soon as any warning signs or symptoms are detected.
To find out more about TMJ disorder or the role your dentist can play in managing this condition, contact our dental office today.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Marietta, OH.
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Patients who experience clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joint may have developed the combined jaw joint and facial muscle dysfunction referred to as TMJ disorder. Patients who are female, deal with stress or anxiety, or have other health conditions that affect the muscles and joints may warrant an evaluation. Because TMJ can be a…