TMJ Treatment in Conover
Hass Family Orthodontics provides TMJ treatment in Conover, NC. Call 828-464-5300 to learn more and schedule an appointment.
There are temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, on both sides of the lower jaw connecting it to your skull. Whenever you open and close your mouth, these joints work like sliding hinges. Even though we use them whenever we speak, eat, or yawn, we rarely give the TMJ much thought unless they stop functioning properly. When the TMJ cause pain, it’s called TMJ disorder, or TMD.
TMD can impact your quality of life, particularly if it’s left untreated. In addition to jaw pain, TMD can cause pain throughout the face, earaches, headaches, difficulty eating, popping and clicking, and lockjaw.
Types of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
It’s critical that we understand the cause of your TMD in order to treat it. We conduct a thorough exam to evaluate the joint and the tissue surrounding it to identify the source of your pain. TMD can be associated with:
- Myofascial pain – This type of pain is often the result of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Rather than being caused by the joints themselves, myofascial pain originates in the muscles surrounding the TMJ.
- Internal derangement of the joint – Often caused by trauma to the face or jaw, internal derangement of the joint may involve a displaced disc or dislocated jaw.
- Arthritis – When arthritis attacks the TMJ, it can lead to TMJ disorder. In these cases, treatment is a collaborative effort between Dr. Hass, who can alleviate your immediate symptoms, and your physician or rheumatologist to address the underlying cause.
TMD can often be treated with self-managed care, including cold compresses, a soft food diet during flare-ups, and over-the-counter pain relievers when pain is severe. If these at-home treatments aren’t providing you with relief, we may recommend:
- A custom night guard that reduces stress on the TMJ and prevents teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
- Orthodontic treatment to correct bite issues that are causing your TMD.
- A referral to an oral surgeon who specializes in TMJ disorder treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Treatment
What can an orthodontist do for TMJ?
Orthodontists can diagnose TMJ disorder and determine an appropriate treatment. Sometimes, this means a referral to another professional, while in other cases, we may recommend a custom night guard or orthodontic treatment to correct bite issues.
Is TMJ caused by stress?
TMJ disorder isn’t directly caused by stress, but there is an indirect link for some patients. Stress can lead to muscle tension in the body, which causes teeth grinding and jaw clenching. These habits can cause TMD.
What is the difference between TMJ and TMD?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull. TMD is temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition in which the TMJ or the muscles surrounding them are causing pain.
What will happen if TMJ is not treated?
TMJ disorder that is not treated can worsen over time and may eventually require surgical intervention. It’s best to take a proactive approach to treatment to reduce the risk of permanent damage to the joints.
Do you have to get surgery for TMJ?
Surgery is only recommended if all other treatment options have been exhausted. Most patients do not require surgery for TMJ disorder.
Call 828-464-5300 to schedule an appointment.