Treating TMJ

TMJ treatment is something a lot more people need to be aware of, simply because there are many people suffering from TMJ disorders. The TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, connects your jaw to your skull. This is the joint that allows your jaw to move, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. There is a temporomandibular joint on each side of your head, just in front of and below your ears.

At times, the TMJ becomes strained or injured and causes severe pain. If you have any pain or tenderness in your jaw joint area, clicking or popping sounds from your jaw, or trouble chewing, you need to visit us immediately for an evaluation.

There are a few things we recommend you do to manage the pain before you arrive at our office for treatment. Apply heat or cold packs to the affected area. Avoid eating tough or hard foods or chewing gum. Keep good posture, and make your workspace ergonomic. If the pain becomes too acute, take a short-term painkiller such as an acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Let’s take a look at a couple of the TMJ treatment options we offer here at Spillers Orthodontics:

The most common treatment we use for treating TMJ is splint therapy. Our splints are not mouth guards, bite guards, bite plates, mouthpieces, night guards or occlusal appliances. Our splints are made of hard plastic and are generally worn over the top teeth. They allow the muscles and ligaments to relax, ridding the facial muscles of the tension and tightness that grinding, clenching or other jaw problems may cause. If a patient grinds his or her teeth, the splint will help protect from more wear on the teeth, preventing pain, sensitivity, and jagged edges.

If a patient’s bite (the way the top and bottom teeth fit together) is off or not right for his or her jaw, Invisalign treatment or braces may be used to move the teeth and bite into a more optimum position, which then allows the muscles to rest and relax.

If you have TMJ symptoms and need help managing them, call us today at 478-953-2700 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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