You may have heard some people say “I have TMJ”. Usually, what these individuals mean is that they are suffering from a TMJ disorder. Your temporomandibular joints, also known as your TMJ, are what make it possible to open and close your mouth. Your TMJ, which include the muscles, ligament and jaw bone involved, are located on either side of your skull. The TMJ control the lower jaw- your mandible- as it moves forward, backward and side to side.

Each TMJ has a disc between the ball and socket of the joint. The disc supports the load while enabling the jaw to open wide and rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this complicated system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working together properly can be called a TMJ disorder. 

The specialists at Davis Family Dental Care in Bedford, TX can diagnose and treat this problem to alleviate the discomfort of and stop the progression of dental issues that TMJ disorders can bring on.

What Causes TMJ Disorders (TMD)?

Possible causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dislocation
  • Injury
  • Alignment of jaw and teeth
  • Teeth grinding due to stress

How is TMJ Diagnosed?

A dentist must diagnose a TMD before treatment can begin. A typical dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles of the jaw for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty of motion. Depending on the severity of the diagnosis, your Davis Family dentist may refer you to a physician or a dental specialist for more advanced treatment.

How is TMJ Treated?

For basic cases, there are several methods of treatments for TMJ disorders. These tips allow you to make small changes yourself at home before moving on to more involved treatment: 

  • Eating softer foods
  • Avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails
  • Applying heat packs to the pain
  • Practicing relaxation techniques to alleviate tension in the jaw, including meditation or biofeedback.

If your symptoms are more severe, the following treatments may be recommended by your Davis Family dentist:

  • Exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles
  • Medications prescribed by your dentist; such as muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-
  • Anxiety drugs or anti-inflammatory medications
  • A mouth guard or bite plate to reduce clenching or grinding of teeth.

TMJ Treatment in Bedford, TX

In some cases, your dentist may recommend correct an uneven bite by adjusting or reshaping

some teeth. Orthodontic treatment may even be recommended if necessary. Your Davis Family dentist can suggest the most appropriate therapy based on the determined cause.  If you are in the Bedford, TX area and think you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, any other dental ailment or just need a cleaning or consultation, please call 817.382.8869 to schedule with your dentist at Davis Family Dental Care or schedule with our office online.

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