Temporomandibular joint disorders occur when the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull are under stress or pressure. Facial and dental injuries, as well as arthritis, can exacerbate the jaw and tooth pain associated with these disorders. At Perfect Smiles, we offer restorative dental care through TMJ treatment to patients in Bensalem, PA. Our professional dentists help relieve pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders. They take the time to examine the patient’s teeth and jaw joints to find the areas of the mouth and face that require treatment.
Common TMJ Symptoms
There are multiple common signs of TMJ disorders to look out for:
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Tense back, neck, and jaw muscles
- Pain or discomfort when chewing
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, please contact our office. We will work with you to find the source of your TMJ symptoms and provide the appropriate treatment. Many patients often do not realize that they have a TMJ disorder because they may clench or grind their teeth at night. At routine appointments, we regularly examine and take x-rays of the smile. Our dentists can help catch signs of TMJ, including tooth wear and damage.
Treatments for TMJ Disorders
There are a variety of treatment options for patients who have TMD:
- Nightguards: Similar to mouthguards, nightguards are custom-made oral appliances used to stop bruxism or teeth clenching and grinding. Nightguards shift the jaw slightly forward and take the pressure off of the jaw joints and muscles. Wearing an oral appliance each night also prevents tooth chips, cracks, and wear.
- Occlusal adjustments: A common risk factor for TMJ disorders are crooked teeth and an uneven bite. Bite and tooth misalignment put pressure on the muscles and ligaments of the jaw. We may recommend orthodontic treatments like Invisalign to create a more even smile. Our team can also reshape teeth to ensure that the upper and lower tooth arches have even contact.
- Trigger Point Injections: For this treatment, we inject a medicated needle into the tense muscles that surround the temporomandibular joints. This helps loosen tight muscles and reduce pain in the jaw. We will thoroughly examine the facial and jaw muscles to find the best injection points for this treatment.
- Physical Therapy: The majority of TMJ patients will undergo physical therapy. We will refer patients to physical therapists, who will teach and perform exercises to improve painful TMJ symptoms. Head, neck, arm, and jaw stretches help reduce muscle tension and stress. Many physical therapists also provide massages that help relax the mouth and facial muscles. Additionally, patients who undergo physical therapy benefit from a soft diet. Avoiding particularly hard or chewy foods lessens the pressure and pain on the teeth and jaw.
Contact Our Dental Office
If you have experienced jaw pain or chronic headaches, you may have a TMJ disorder. Call our office for treatment at 215-770-1081 if you have noticed TMJ symptoms. Feel free to request a dental appointment with our dental team online.