Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) affects between 5-12% of the United States population. If you’re experiencing jaw or facial pain and discomfort, make an appointment with Johnny L. Smith, DMD, in Peoria, Arizona. Dr. Smith offers customized solutions for TMJ treatment. Call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule today.
The temporomandibular joints are found on either side of your jaw, near your ears. The small joints connect your jaw to your skull and provide range of movement to speak, bite, and chew foods.
The temporomandibular joint has both a hinge action and sliding motion. There is cartilage around the bones that interact with the joint, which normally keeps the movement smooth.
TMJ disorder involves pain in the jaw and surrounding face due to misalignment of your jaw. TMJ may be a result of:
Some connective tissue diseases can also affect the temporomandibular joint. Any condition affecting joint functioning may lead to a TMJ disorder.
Most everyone with TMJ disorder experiences pain and tenderness around the jaw joints that often radiates out to the rest of your face. Some people also experience pain around the ears or neck.
TMJ discomfort and pain may come and go, either randomly or when you eat. Some people with TMJ experience a clicking or locking of the jaw joint, making it difficult to eat. Others experience dizziness, although this is rare.
You should schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith if you experience persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, click or locking of your jaw, or if you can’t open or close your jaw completely.
Dr. Smith diagnoses your condition after discussing your symptoms, completing an oral exam, and taking dental X-rays.
Dr. Smith treats TMJ with dental appliances to realign misaligned teeth and prevent teeth grinding. Mouthguards bring your teeth together gently and stop teeth grinding, especially when worn at night. Mouthguards also reduce strain on the jaw and allow the muscles time to rest and heal.
If using dental appliances doesn’t offer relief over time, you may need specialized medical care or surgery.
To find relief from nagging pain in your jaw or face with TMJ treatment, call Johnny L. Smith, DMD, or request an appointment online today.