Customized TMJ Appliances
The acronym, TMJs, stands for the temporomandibular joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull and act as the pivots upon which your jaw moves. TMJ disorder, or TMD, describes any of a number of conditions that cause pain, dysfunction, and trouble with movement in one or both of your TMJs. TMJ disorders are usually caused by unusual stress on your jaw’s joints, such as from continuously grinding your teeth or compensating for crooked teeth when you bite and chew. Because it affects the dominant nerves in your head and face, TMJ disorders can have a wide range of symptoms, many of them severe and debilitating.
Recognizing TMJ Disorder
To determine if you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, consider the combination of your symptoms. Though the signs may differ from patient to patient, common TMJ disorder symptoms can include;
- Pain and/or difficulty opening and closing your mouth
- Popping noises when your jaw opens and closes
- Trouble biting and chewing comfortably
- Tenderness/soreness in your jaw and facial muscles
- Occasional locked jaw (the jaw becomes temporarily stuck in the open or closed position)
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Habitual teeth-grinding (bruxism)
- Sore, stiff muscles in the neck and shoulders
Treating TMJ Disorder
Because everyone’s TMJ disorder can be different, treatment may also differ. Severe cases may need corrective treatment to realign a patient’s bite and relieve pressure on the jaw joints. Others may benefit from a simple oral appliance designed to hold the lower jaw in a more comfortable position. A TMJ appliance alleviates pressure on the jaw joints to allow them to heal and give inflammation a chance to subside.
Do You Need TMJ Treatment?
If you suffer from chronic headaches, jaw pain, and/or difficulty moving your jaw, then you may need custom TMJ treatment to restore your bite’s proper function. To schedule an examination with Dr. Okoniewski, call Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI today at (248) 852-1820.