Temporomandibular joint is a very big word for your jaw joint. Your jaw joint connects your lower jaw (your mandible) to your skull via your temporal bones, hence, the term temporomandibular joint. Your jaw joints are in front of your ears and allow your jaw to move. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are probably the most active joint in your body. They take a lot of wear and tear. You use your TMJs to talk, chew, yawn, and sing. If you are a bruxer–meaning you chronically grind and clench your teeth–you are putting even more stress on your TMJs. Are your TMJs stressed out?
Stressed Out TMJs
According to the American Dental Association, over 15 percent of American adults more than likely suffer from a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMDs cause symptoms such as chronic facial pain, achy jaws, headaches, neck aches, stiff jaw, and more. The causes of a TMD can range from arthritis to stress to trauma to a misaligned bite.
Dr. Smith can usually diagnose a TMD via symptoms and an exam. However, x-rays can be very helpful, too. If he determines that you do suffer from a TMD, he will most likely prescribe a custom fabricated orthotic. An orthotic is a splint or brace which is utilized to correct, align, or support a movable body part such as your jaw joint. Similar to a mouth guard the orthotic can correct your bite, relieve pain, and/or reduce stress on the jaw.
In most cases a conservative procedure is all that is needed to treat a TMD. Other treatment options include jaw stretches, hot and cold therapy, relaxation therapy, medication, or Botox injections.
ABOUT YOUR GRAND PRAIRIE, TX, DENTIST:
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.