TMJ disorder (TMD) can have severe effects on a person’s overall wellbeing and quality of life in addition to affecting the entire oral health system. This condition involves the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is vital to all oral function because it works in tandem with facial muscles, ligaments, and tendons to facilitate mouth movement. Our practice is committed to helping our patients enjoy more than just healthy teeth and gums; we want to see members of our community enjoying vibrant health and good quality of life. These reasons are why Artistic Smiles offers comprehensive oral healthcare services including treatment for TMD.
An Overview of the TMJ and TMD Symptoms
The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jawbone to the skull. Damage to the joint itself or a misaligned bite can cause the TMJ to affect oral function. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include popping or clicking sensations during mouth movement, facial pain, lockjaw, and tooth wear. Some patients with TMD suffer from debilitating headaches and neck aches and others’ symptoms seem to flare up during times of duress. Since TMD can have such profound effects on quality of life, Dr. Gonzalez provides effective treatment options that address the root of the problem.
Causes and Treatment for TMJ Disorder
A few different factors can contribute to TMJ disorder. A misaligned bite caused by tooth wear is a major cause of TMD. Other causes include facial trauma, developmental abnormalities, and bruxism – the habit of clenching and grinding one’s teeth. Essentially, any problem that can affect the alignment of teeth when the mouth is closed will put pressure on the TMJ. A strained TMJ will ultimately dysfunction. This is because the TMJ and connecting tissues will overcompensate for a misaligned bite by attempting to hold the jaw in its rightful place. Eventually, patients will experience discomfort and reduced oral function.
When treating TMJ dysfunction, Dr. Gonzalez will perform a thorough physical examination to determine the underlying causes of this condition. Treatment will vary depending on the contributing factors associated with TMD. For instance, if tooth wear has affected a patient’s bite, restorations may be required to restore healthy tooth alignment. For chronic teeth grinding and clenching, a night guard may be recommended. In other cases, stress reduction therapy and facial massage can alleviate symptoms.
If you are suffering with symptoms of TMJ, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our gentle and caring team at Artistic Smiles. Call (281) 316-8900 to reserve your appointment.