The term TMJ gets used as a catchall for any jaw problem. But do you know what TMJ really means? TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint — the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. That area of your face is particularly important as it contains the means by which your jaws open and close, allowing you to speak and eat. When there is a problem with the TMJ, it can cause a lot of pain and dysfunction and make life difficult.
TMJ disorders, or TMD, can diminish your quality of life, making it hard to chew, swallow, relax, and sleep. If you have a TMD, you may experience facial or neck pain, headaches, earaches, jaw discomfort, jaw popping, jaw locking, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
The simple explanation is that there is no simple explanation. A TMJ disorder can have a variety of causes, possibly linked to the muscles in the TMJ area, the formation of the jawbone, and how the entire mechanism works. If you are a teeth grinder or jaw clencher, you can develop a TMD as a result. If you experience facial trauma, a TMD can develop if your jaw or the muscles in the face are injured and don’t heal properly. If your jaw or bite is misaligned in any way, you could develop a TMJ disorder at some point in your life.
Dr. Joe Chichetti and Dr. Reena Patel provide TMJ treatment to alleviate discomfort and improve your oral function. We will work with you to determine the cause of your TMJ disorder and which type of treatment is right for your needs, which may include clear aligners to correct bite issues and teeth alignment or an oral appliance to reduce pressure from teeth grinding. Each TMJ disorder case is unique, and your dentist will customize your treatment plan to your specific needs.
Contact Chichetti & Patel Dental Wellness at 704-233-3430 to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists and learn more about how TMJ treatment can benefit you.