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
"I have worked with Dr Knight for over two years and can say that his team is top notch and his clinical expertise if the best you will ever experience..."- E.V. / Google / Aug 12, 2022
"I am very happy with the care received from this dental office. My dental hygienist, Denise, makes me feel comfortable, and does a thorough exam and cleaning. Dr. Knight does a careful review, exam, and plan of care. Such a great experience, and it feels wonderful, I highly recommend them."- B.K. / Google / Jun 08, 2022
"Dr. Knight and his team we’re awesome today! I had to have a root canal done and I do not numb up! But today I had very little pain and they talked me through my procedure like true pros,like they are! Dr Knight is an awesome dentist! Thank You for taking such good care of me."- K.J. / Google / Jun 08, 2022
"Just completed another preventative care visit with Dr Knight and his team. The team has provided the very best dental care in the region available. Thanks you."- J.A. / Google / Apr 20, 2022
"Dr. Knight has a very professional manner; is pleasant, kind, courteous, has chosen and trained his staff well. He spends enough time to do a great job, is efficient, uses state-of-the-art techniques. He put in my crown painlessly and in record time (didn't use a stopwatch, tho.) I always walk out feeling much better than I did when I walked in."- A. / Healthgrades / Sep 01, 2021
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 Can I Expect After TMJ Therapy?
Along with treatments to address the underlying cause of your TMD, Dr. Knight may recommend other strategies to ease pain and other problems at home. This may include eating softer foods, avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails, using heating packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. Dr. Knight may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medicine to relax your facial muscles (and to ease pain, anxiety, or even inflammation ).
You should continue to attend follow-up visits so Dr. Knight can check the progress of your TMJ treatment. If your treatment isn't working, he may look at another strategy. As soon as your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule annual dental examinations at Knight Dental Care to optimize your oral health and reduce TMJ issues.
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.