Have you noticed jaw pain or a clicking sound when moving your jaw? These could be early signifiers of temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ. This issue arises when the jaw endures abnormally high pressure, leading to a decline in its capabilities.
This condition can worsen without treatment from your dental professional. You can schedule a consultation for an evaluation of your jaw health and a discussion of your treatment options to alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms. Gwaltney Dental, a dentist office located in Suffolk, VA, lists three ways that your dentist can help you treat TMJ disorders.
3 TMJ Treatment Options
Practicing Stress Relief Exercises
TMJ disorders develop when abnormal pressure on your teeth extends to your jaw. A prime example of this pressure is grinding or clenching your teeth.
This habit can begin or worsen with heightened stress levels, so in many TMJ cases, dental professionals will discuss stress reduction techniques. Lowered stress can eradicate these oral habits which will alleviate uncomfortable TMJ symptoms. Dentists may also suggest specified facial exercises that patients can practice which will loosen tight muscles in the jaw and eradicate TMJ.
Wearing Custom-Made Mouthguard
Teeth grinding and clenching, often referred to as bruxism, usually occur without the dental patient’s knowledge, such as when they sleep. If a patient grates their teeth against each other during sleep, a dentist may create a customized mouthguard for them to wear overnight.
This oral appliance is made on a personalized basis for the patient so that it fits comfortably and effectively, keeping their jaw in an optimal position to relieve pressure. It can also provide protection for the patient’s teeth and their jaw from bruxism that may happen as they sleep.
Straightening Teeth with Invisalign
Bruxism is not the only cause of TMJ. Pressure can develop if a dental patient’s bite is not aligned properly. Dentists can help patients straighten their teeth and amend mild malocclusions with Invisalign.
This treatment involves customized plastic aligners that a patient wears for at least 22 hours each day to gradually reposition their teeth. The dentist factors the patient’s existing dental alignment as well as the cosmetic dental treatment strategy when constructing these aligners.
The process will take several months to complete, but ultimately dental patients will see an enhancement in their smile’s appearance as well as relief from their TMJ symptoms at its conclusion. More severe malocclusions and misalignments may need evaluation from an orthodontist.
TMJ Treatment Available in Suffolk, VA
Gwaltney Dental offers treatment for TMJ disorders and other dental conditions to patients in Suffolk, VA. Our practice specializes in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions, for patients of all ages. If you feel nervous about upcoming dental work, ask your dental professional about sedation dentistry options. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our team, contact our staff by phone at 757.982.8467 or reach our office online.