TMJ Therapy in Fairfield, CT
If you suffer from chronic jaw pain and headaches that interfere with your daily life, it is time to see a dentist that specializes in TMJ therapy. Call Aesthetic Dentistry of Fairfield, at (203) 259-7073, to schedule an appointment.
Understanding TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint, the TMJ, connects your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw, located in front of your ears and on each side of the head, and each joint acts like a sliding hinge that allows your jaw to open and close. TMJ disorders, also called TMD, can cause pain in your jaw joint or in the muscles that surround your jaw.
TMJ Disorder Causes and Symptoms
There are many reasons that TMJ disorder can occur. Stress contributing factors such as lack of sleep, clenching the jaw, and poor diet are possible reasons. Sleep apnea and bruxism can also be contributing factors to TMJ disorder. When a person experiences apneic episodes or grinding during sleep, they are not getting the quality sleep they need. The muscles can stay in that tense position which can cause facial pain, muscle pain in the jaw, and headaches in the morning.
If you are experiencing pain, it is essential to visit a dentist experienced in treating TMJ disorders as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
- Frequent headaches
- Aching neck pain or facial pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty when biting down
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the jaw
- Muscle spasms of the facial muscles
- Locking of the jaw
Treatment Options for TMJ Pain
Most TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is typically reserved as a last resort after all conservative treatment options have failed. Here are some of the different nonsurgical TMJ treatment options:
Stress can cause health problems, including dental issues. Patients experiencing stress from work or life should seek help on how to better handle stress and techniques that can help them relax.
Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to reduce inflammation in the joints and facial muscles. If the pain is due to muscle spasms, a prescription muscle relaxant may provide relief.
A physical therapist can provide TMJ care by offering jaw exercises and other therapies to offer relief of joint, neck, shoulders, and other body pain. You may also use heat and ice to help relax the muscles.
An occlusal guard, also commonly known as a night guard or sleep guard, help many patients if they suffer from bruxism, clenching, or grinding. Tooth grinding not only causes discomfort and tenderness in the jaws but can lead to deterioration of the tooth enamel. Occlusal guards are made of a hard, flat dental acrylic and are custom made to the way that your jaw fits together. WIth our advanced technology, patients are scanned for their occlusal guards with our intraoral scanner– no more goopy impression material.
Botox is a highly effective treatment for TMD and is often used for the treatment of migraines as well. Botox is a neuromodulator that is directly injected into the muscle to reduce muscle activity. Your pain will reduce as the muscles around the TMJ relax.
TMJ Disorder Treatment in Fairfield, CT
TMD is common, but it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of pain. There are many possible causes of TMJ disorders, including genetics, arthritis, teeth grinding, over or underbites, crowding of the teeth, and more. In most cases, pain and discomfort associated with TMD can be relieved with nonsurgical treatments. To schedule an appointment with us, please feel free to call us at (203) 259-7073. Our experienced dentist can discuss possible causes by examining and listening to your symptoms.