Oh, your aching head, neck, shoulders, jaw and back! Really? Then you need to see the dentist. That may sound strange, but all of those aches and pains could be due to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ. At D & G Dental in West Orange, NJ, our dentists treat these discomforts with TMJ therapy.
You may never have heard of the temporomandibular joints—even though they are positioned on either side of your head just in front of your ears. These joints allow you to open and close your mouth, whether to speak, chew or yawn. Sometimes, however, the function of these joints becomes compromised, thus causing pain and other symptoms including:
- A clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth
- Earache or congestion in the absence of infection
- Bite misalignment
- Sensitive teeth
- Swelling on the side of your face
Although TMJ may be caused by traumatic injury to the face or head, the most common circumstance that brings on TMJ dysfunction is an improper bite. A misaligned bite may force the jaw to compensate in order for the upper and lower teeth to fit together. Another cause is nighttime teeth grinding and clenching. This may lead to uneven surfaces on the teeth, which like a misaligned bite, force the jaw out of place.
TMJ Therapy to the Rescue
If nighttime teeth grinding and clenching are part of the problem, then a custom-designed nightguard may go a long way toward eliminating painful symptoms. Worn at night, this oral appliance can reduce stress on the jaw, as well as prevent the excessive wear and tear on teeth that grinding and clenching cause. Additional treatment recommendations may include stress relievers such as exercise, meditation, talk therapy and stretching.
Call Our Office Today
If you suspect that you or a loved one might be dealing with the pain of TMJ dysfunction, then schedule an appointment with D & G Dental in West Orange, NJ. We also conveniently serve patients from Livingston, Montclair, Verona and Bloomfield and surrounding communities.