The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jawbone to your skull, acting like a sliding hinge (one on each side of your jaw). Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) that affect the TMJ can cause pain in both the joint of your jaw and the muscles that control jaw movement.
Pain from a person’s TMJ disorder may be due to genetics, arthritis, or jaw injury, the exact cause of which is often difficult to determine. Some who suffer from TMJ disorder and have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth, although others who do the same never develop TMJ disorders.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
Before treatment is attempted, your dentist at Harmony Dental will perform an exam to determine whether TMJ disorder is the issue. During the exam, your dentist will typically listen to and feel your jaw as you open and close your mouth, observe the range of motion of your jaw, and press on areas around your mouth and jaw to identify areas of pain. A dental x-ray may also be performed to get more in-depth information.
Many times, the pain associated with TMJ disorders is temporary. It can be relieved using self-managed care or nonsurgical treatment. If these conservative measures have failed and the pain persists, your dentist may recommend a variety of treatment options.
The most common form of TMJ treatment we offer at our Pearland and Pasadena offices are custom mouth guards, which are designed to adjust your bite and prevent the side effects of nightly teeth grinding and clenching to reduce discomfort. To see if custom mouth guards are the right solution for your TMJ symptoms, book a consultation at one of our locations today!