Worcester, MA dentist Dr. Robert Gauthier offers diagnosis and treatment for temporomandibular disorders (TMD), commonly known as TMJ. Left untreated TMJ can lead to additional dental problems, including tooth loss.
Our dentists have extensive post graduate training and experience in treating TMJ, helping patients to restore both their oral health and daily quality of life. We take a comprehensive approach to treatment, seeking to identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate, lasting treatment.
What Is temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?
TMJ is a bite disorder often characterized by symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain and difficulty chewing. TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint that connects the skull and lower mandible of the jaw and enables chewing and speaking. When this joint is not functioning properly for any reason, the overall bite is affected and teeth will wear unevenly or become damaged.
TMJ can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Trauma to the head, neck, or face
- Trauma to the TMJ joint or arthritis
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Malocclusion (where the jaws do not line up correctly resulting in bite problems)
Common Symptoms of TMJ
Your Russell Street dentist will look for the signs of a bite disorder such as worn or damaged teeth, but there are additional symptoms that can affect both oral health and daily life:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, often characterized by worn teeth
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
Your treatment will be tailored to your unique dental concerns, designed to address any tooth damage and restore your dental health. Dr. Gauthier may recommend any one, or a combination of the following treatments for TMJ:
- Occlusal equilibration: bite correction therapy to enable the teeth to come into proper contact. This may involve one or several restorative dental treatments:
- Removing tooth structure
- Applying dental crowns or porcelain veneers
- Orthodontic treatment
- Implant dentistry
- TMJ mouthguard or splint therapy: the most common initial treatment option, your dentist will create a custom oral appliance to address teeth grinding and relieve symptoms
- Orthodontics: Invisalign or traditional braces may be recommended to realign the bite and restore oral health.
In many situations, your Russell Street dentist may recommend restorative dental treatments such as dental crowns or tooth bonding to repair damaged teeth. If you are experiencing any TMJ symptoms, Call us at (508) 687-6579, or schedule an appointment online.