TMJ: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
The temporomandibular joint, which connects the skull and jaw, allows the jaws to open and close with ease. Then the TMJ falls out of alignment, a painful disorder called TMJ disorder can arise. If you experience persistent jaw pain, Dr. Warren Gase, who has practiced dentistry for 30 years, can treat your symptoms at his Cincinnati, OH dental practice. The vast majority of TMJ disorder cases can be treated without the need for surgery.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Due to the complexity of the TMJ, there are multiple potential causes of TMJ disorder. The condition is more prevalent among women than men, although the exact reasons for this are still unknown. TMJ can result from trauma to the jaw or neck. TMJ symptoms frequently arise as a result of nighttime teeth clenching or bruxism. An estimated eight percent of adults grind their teeth at night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Jaw pain can also result from dental problems like ill-fitting prosthetics and poorly aligned teeth. Stress, genetic factors, and arthritis are also common causes of TMJ disorder.
TMJ Disorder Diagnosis
During your visit to our Cincinnati dental practice, Dr. Gase will closely examine your teeth and jaws. Typically, Dr. Gase will ask you to open your jaw as wide as you can to observe the function of your TMJ. Digital x-rays may be taken at this time. Common symptoms he will be looking for include:
- A popping or clicking noise when the mouth is opened widely
- Trouble opening the mouth
- Jaw pain
- Discomfort when chewing
Due to the many potential causes of TMJ symptoms, Dr. Gase will need to determine the exact cause of your discomfort. Once the root cause has been found, he will prescribe a suitable treatment plan.
TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
There are multiple treatment options for TMJ disorder. If your jaw pain is caused by dental problems or misaligned teeth, Dr. Gase may recommend Invisalign aligner trays or restorative treatments like dental crowns.
If your jaws are out of alignment or if bruxism is the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder, Dr. Gase may recommend an oral appliance, which is sometimes called a TMJ appliance. The custom-made splint reduces stress on the jaw joints by properly realigning your bite. The acrylic resin device comfortably fits over the upper and lower teeth and prevents the teeth from coming into contact.
During your first visit to our Cincinnati clinic, Dr. Gase will take an impression of your teeth that will be used to manufacture your oral appliance. After a few weeks, your new bite guard will arrive and Dr. Gase will ensure that it is the perfect fit. Dr. Gase will explain how often the appliance needs to be worn. Patients should begin finding relief from TMJ disorder in the days and weeks following the start of this treatment.
The vast majority of patients find relief through non-surgical means. If you do require corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Gase will ensure that you are referred to a trusted surgeon.
Schedule Your Annual Dysplasia Exam Today
Jaw pain can make speaking and chewing difficult. If you are ready to begin treating your TMJ disorder, we welcome you to contact our office online or call (513) 268-2037. We gladly accept CareCredit® and LendingClub® financing options to help patients afford treatment.
"If you are looking for a new dentist, look no further. Dr. Gase, along with his staff are top notch!!! Everyone is always very friendly and very helpful. It's like one big happy family. And your teeth get the treatment they deserve."Laila S.