Do you suffer from frequent jaw or tooth pain? You may have a temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ disorders can cause pain to the jaw joint and the muscles that control the jaw because the temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull.
Dr. Jessica Christy, a dentist in Hendersonville, NC, offers treatment for orofacial pain, which is any pain felt in the mouth, jaws, and the face. The majority of cases of orofacial pain result from dental causes like TMJ. At Orchard Hill Dental, we offer multiple methods of treating orofacial pain as well as the many symptoms and causes of this disorder.
What Causes TMJ?
Sometimes the cause of temporomandibular joint disorders can be pinpointed by our dental specialists. Common causes of TMJ disorders can include:
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Trauma to the jaw
- Crooked teeth
Patients with these conditions are more prone to developing TMJ disorders because they put the jaw under pressure. This pressure can be painful and may result in more problems for patients. If you suspect that you suffer from a TMJ disorder, please contact our office at (828) 247-7001. Dr. Christy or a member of her dental team will help you find the cause of your pain and treat it accordingly.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
There are many common symptoms of TMJ to look out for. Multiple signs of TMJ include:
- Orofacial pain
- Jaw pain
- Teeth grinding
- Difficulty chewing
- Back pain
- Jaw tenderness
- Aching facial pain
- Jaw clicking or locking
- Shoulder pain
- Muscle spasms
TMJ Treatment Options in Hendersonville at Orchard Hill Dental
There are several restorative options that can help alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorders. They include:
If you have mild symptoms of TMJ, there are several at-home options you can try to help alleviate TMJ pain. Some of these solutions include:
- Jaw exercises
- Relaxing your facial muscles
- Eating soft foods to help your jaw rest
- Sleeping on your side
- Using an ice pack in a clean cloth
- Using a heat pack
You can try these solutions at home. However, if they do not work, you probably have a more moderate case of TMJ. Call our office for care if this happens.
For moderate cases of temporomandibular joint disorder, Dr. Christy will recommend a night guard. Because many patients find that they clench and grind their teeth at night, this oral appliance can be worn when asleep. Treatment will vary from each individual case and can include one or more procedures or treatments to restore a more balanced and comfortable bite.
Restorative Dental Care
To address worn or damaged teeth, or to adjust the biting surface for proper tooth contact, Dr. Christy may recommend a restorative treatment such as bonding or a dental crown.
TMJ Disorder FAQs
What should you not do with TMJ?
Patients with TMJ should avoid chewing gum, and chewing anything particularly hard or sticky. Patients should also avoid chewing with only one side and resting on their chin. All of these activities can cause muscular tension resulting in worsened TMJ.
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
If TMJ is left untreated it can lead to tinnitus and compromised hearing. It can also cause inner ear issues which may affect balance.
How long does it take to correct TMJ?
On average it takes anywhere from a few months to three years to correct TMJ. The time it takes to correct TMJ varies based on the severity of the TMJ. Massaging and stretching jaw muscles regularly can help speed up the recovery process.
If you have noticed any of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, call Orchard Hill Dental’s Hendersonville, North Carolina dentist office at (828) 247-7001. You may also request a consultation online with our dentists in Hendersonville, NC. Our dental team’s goal is to find the most direct solution that works to improve your oral health while providing comfort.