Get Jaw Pain Relief with TMJ Therapy in Midland, TX
Let’s talk about your temporomandibular joints. If they’ve never given you trouble, then you may not even know where they are. However, if you’ve ever experienced the pain and discomfort of temporomandibular joint disorder—or TMJ—then you know these joints are located on both sides of your face and in front of your ears. Essentially, these joints are built like hinges that allow you to open and close your mouth to chew, talk, laugh or yawn. If either or both of your temporomandibular joints malfunction, then uncomfortable symptoms may result. For TMJ therapy, central Midland, TX, residents rely on effective treatment from, Dr. Christensen.
What May Cause TMJ?
In some instances, TMJ begins with teeth grinding and clenching. The medical term for teeth grinding and clenching is bruxism. While the TMJ and bruxism are related, and one can influence the other, they are two distinct conditions It is actually possible to have one without the other. Additional causes of TMJ can be traumatic facial injury that damages the joint, arthritis in the joint, and stress.
Most often, TMJ causes pain when you open your mouth. Depending on the severity of the condition, the pain can be quite severe. Other common symptoms include:
- Feeling like your jaw locks when you open or close
- A popping or clicking sound when you move your jaw
- Swelling around the joint
- A feeling that your facial muscles are weak
- Sensitive teeth with no sign of decay or infection
Diagnosing TMJ in Midland, TX
When you come to Midland dentist Dr. Christensen because of pain in your jaw, he will conduct a thorough examination of your oral cavity and teeth. He will gently palpate your temporomandibular joints, your jaw and your neck to check for areas of sensitivity or pain. In addition, he’ll check your bite, which can become misaligned as a result of TMJ. If necessary, he can also take digital x-rays, so as to view the construction of your temporomandibular joints and jaw.
If Dr. Christensen determines that you do have TMJ, then he may recommend a number of different treatments. A nightguard can prevent teeth grinding and clenching if this nighttime habit is contributing to your symptoms of TMJ. Alternatively, a splint is recommended for daytime use. Both keep your upper and lower teeth from meeting, and they also help to correct your bite.
Sometimes, restorative dentistry procedures may be needed to alleviate TMJ. If this is the case, then Dr. Christensen may recommend dental crowns or a crown and bridge to even up the biting surfaces of your teeth.