When someone says they “have TMJ,” they mean they’re suffering from a TMJ disorder. We all have TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, on both sides of the skull, which operate the jaw. When the TMJ are injured or inflamed, dentists diagnose patients with TMJ disorders, also called TMD. The team at Russell Street Dental Associates in Worcester, MA treats patients with TMJ symptoms to help find relief for their discomfort.
What is a TMJ Disorder (TMD)?
Each TMJ is made of a ball and socket with a disc positioned between the ball and socket. This disc supports the load to allow the jaw to open wide, rotate, or glide. Any problem that prevents these muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones from working properly is called a TMJ disorder.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders can have several possible causes:
- Dislocation of the jaw
- Misalignment of the jaw and teeth
- Teeth grinding during the day or overnight
How is TMJ Diagnosed?
A physical exam is required to diagnose a TMD. Your dentist will observe the joints and muscles in the jaw, looking for difficulty moving, tenderness, popping, or clicking. Depending on the severity of the diagnosis, your Russell Street dentist may recommend one of several different treatment options.
How is TMJ Treated?
To rebalance the bite and treat TMJ pain, any combination of treatments may be recommended. In many cases, your dentist will recommend a centric relation splint that helps relieve tension in the nerves and muscles in the jaw by realigning the jaw.
Another possible treatment is called an occlusal adjustment, which is a restorative procedure to slightly recontour one or more teeth to adjust the bite to help align the jaw.
Still another option is orthodontic treatment or dental restoration if your dentist suspects the TMD is a result of missing teeth or serious misalignment. The goal of your treatment is not to just relieve the symptoms, but to restore comfort and longevity to your oral health.
TMJ Treatment in Worcester, MA
Your Russell Street dentist can suggest the most appropriate therapy based on the determined cause. If you are in the Worcester, MA area and think you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, any other dental ailment or just need a cleaning or consultation, please call (508) 687-6579 to schedule or request an appointment online.