Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, often shortened to TMJ, is a dysfunction of the small, delicate “temporomandibular joint.” This joint is located beneath each of the ears, and it is responsible for connecting the mandible (jaw) to the skull.
If the temporomandibular joint becomes damaged or inflamed, the resulting condition is known as TMJ. TMJ can be caused by a lot of different things including a poor bite position, bruxism (teeth grinding), inflammatory diseases, and more.
Typical signs and symptoms of TMJ include pain when chewing, radiating jaw pain, “clicking” or “popping” sounds when chewing, and even jaw “locking” which may make it difficult to open or close your mouth all the way. If you notice one or more of these issues, contact Perkasie Dental Loft for an appointment with Dr. Cerdas right away.
Preventive dentistry if your foundation for a healthy smile. With regular cleanings and exams, small dental issues can be caught before they turn into large and costly problems. Preventive dental care along with a diligent at-home brushing and flossing routine can help prevent dental issues all together. It’s these small investments in your oral hygiene that lead to a beautiful, healthy smile.
Dental plaque is made up of more than 300 different types of bacteria.
Regular flossing allows you to clean an additional 40% of your tooth surface.
Over 90% of American adults have had a cavity at some point in their lives.
Surgery is rarely required for TMJ, and most cases can be resolved with lifestyle changes and treatment from a dentist.
To begin the process, you’ll need to come to Perkasie Dental Loft for a consultation with Dr. Lindsey Cerdas. Each patient is different, and each case of TMJ is different. During your appointment, Dr. Cerdas will provide you with an exam and ask you many different questions to determine the root cause of your TMJ, and determine how to proceed with your treatment.
An occlusal guard is often recommended for patients with TMJ. This plastic “night guard” fits over your teeth and helps prevent direct tooth-to-tooth contact when grinding the teeth (bruxism), which is a common cause of TMJ. Some types of occlusal guards are also designed to shift the position of the jaw slightly, which can help relax your jaw joints and allow your temporomandibular joint to heal.
Most TMJ patients must make some lifestyle changes to assist in their recovery. For example, you may need to stop chewing gum, eat a diet of mostly soft and liquid foods to minimize chewing, and work on reducing stress in your lifestyle to help with daytime and nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism). These changes will be different for each patient.
In most cases, physical therapy with certain jaw exercises can help relieve pain and strengthen your jaw muscles and joints, especially in combination with other treatments like an occlusal guard and lifestyle changes.
If your TMJ is being caused by an unhealthy bite, or your bite is contributing to your TMJ disorder, orthodontic treatments like Invisalign or braces may be recommended to change your bite position and provide you with relief.
In some cases, corrective jaw surgery may be needed along with orthodontic treatment, or a treatment called “occlusal equilibration” may be used to reshape the bite and change how the teeth fit together.
Yes. TMJ treatment can often be quite difficult, because this condition can be caused by a wide variety of different health issues including a bad bite, teeth grinding, inflammatory diseases like arthritis, and more. Often, there is more than one factor contributing to your condition.
But at Perkasie Dental Loft, Dr. Lindsey Cerdas has lots of experience treating TMJ patients with occlusal guards and other such treatments. With her help, you can get the care you need to eliminate TMJ and live a pain-free life.
Root canal treatment does not hurt.