TMJ Treatment in Wesley Chapel
Luz Hernandez DDS provides TMJ treatment in Wesley Chapel, FL. Call 813-994-8999 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
On each side of your jaw, there are temporomandibular joints that connect it to the skull. Often shortened to TMJ, these joints act as sliding hinges whenever you open or close your mouth. When the joints function as they should, you probably don’t give them a second thought, but when they cause chronic pain, it can have an impact on your overall quality of life.
This type of chronic TMJ pain is called TMJ disorder, or TMD. TMD is sometimes difficult to diagnose because the symptoms aren’t always straightforward—while jaw pain is most common, you may also experience TMJ pain as headaches or earaches. In addition to being difficult to diagnose, TMD can be hard to treat because it has a number of potential causes, each with its own treatment approach. This is why it’s important to find a dentist who specializes in TMJ disorders.
Types of TMJ Pain
There are three main categories of TMJ pain. These include:
- Myofascial pain – Myofascial pain originates in the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints. Common causes include teeth grinding and jaw clenching, often aggravated by stress.
- Internal derangement of the joint – An injury that dislocates the jaw, displaces a disc, or injures the condyle may cause TMJ pain related to the internal derangement of the joint.
- Arthritis – Just as arthritis affects other joints throughout the body, it can affect the TMJ. When TMJ disorder is caused by arthritis, we can work with your rheumatologist to address both the cause and the symptoms of your TMD.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Patients with TMJ disorder usually have some combination of the following symptoms:
- Facial tenderness, especially around the jaw and cheeks
- Pain or feelings of fullness in or around the ears
- Jaw tightness
- Popping and clicking sounds when eating or opening the mouth
- Locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Treatment of TMJ Disorder
In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, or stabilization splints). In severe cases surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.