What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the spot where your jaw attaches to your skull so you can open and close your mouth with ease. Sometimes, the TMJ is damaged or injured, leading to a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD). If you are having pain or hearing noises when you move your jaw, then schedule an appointment with dentist Dr. Edward Knight to determine if you have TMD. At Knight Dental Care in Midland, MI, Dr. Knight uses innovative equipment to examine, diagnose, and treat your TMD to ease painful symptoms. Your treatment will be customized, depending on the cause and condition of your TMD, but some typical options are mouth and/or night guards, bite modification, dental restorations, and more.
What Are The Benefits Of TMJ Therapy?
TMJ therapy at Knight Dental Care offers several great benefits to relieve TMJ pain and improve quality of life, including:
- Providing multiple, customizable treatment options
- Targeting your unique TMJ causes and symptoms
- Reducing jaw, neck, and facial pain
- Reducing headaches
- Reducing clicking and/or popping in the jaw
- Reducing risk of teeth damage from grinding
- Restoring the function and appearance of your teeth
- Helping concentration and mental focus
- Making eating and chewing more comfortable
- Improving sleep
How Do I Know if I Have Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?
TMD might be caused by an injury to your jaw, chronic jaw clenching, teeth grinding (bruxism), or dental malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth). Medical conditions that might result in TMD include a tumor in your TMJ or arthritis. Sometimes, the reason for TMD is unclear, but if you're having symptoms and signs, Dr. Knight can still diagnose and care for your jaw. The most common signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the jaw joint, involuntary contractions in your facial muscles, feeling as though your jaw is stiff or stuck, a pop or click noise when you open your mouth, and headaches that begin around your ears.
How is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Diagnosed?
To diagnose your TMD, Dr. Knight will listen carefully to your concerns, ask any follow-up questions, and perform a physical examination. During his exam, he will review the movement of your jaw and look for signs of misalignment, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. He will also feel your jaw joint and surrounding area for swelling and tenderness. Depending on his findings, Dr. Knight might order digital x-rays of your lower head, along with a bite analysis to search for underlying causes that will determine your therapy approach. Based on his exam and the x-ray results, Dr. Knight will go over your treatment choices, which could include a mouth guard, orthodontics, or restorations (bridges, crowns, and dentures).
What causes TMJ?
Excess strain on the temporomandibular joint muscle group is the main cause of TMD or TMJ pain. Often it is caused by bruxism (teeth grinding), teeth clenching, a misalignment of the teeth, or an injury.
How common is TMJ?
About 12% of people in the U.S. experience some type of TMJ disorder, with women being more affected than men.
How long do the results of TMJ therapy last?
Most patients can expect their TMJ therapy results to last between 18 months to three years. However, with treatment, dental restorations, and mouth guards, TMJ pain can be controlled, reduced, and even avoided long-term.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that makes it difficult to chew, talk, and enjoy your everyday life, Knight Dental Care may have a solution for you. Since there are a variety of causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), make an appointment with Dr. Edward Knight in Midland, MI. He can perform a detailed examination before diagnosing and discussing treatment choices. Get in touch with our friendly office staff for more information on TMD, cost, financing, insurance, or to schedule your appointment.