Do you catch yourself clenching your teeth as you’re falling asleep? Do you notice pain in your jaw, neck, or shoulder without any discernible explanation? Maybe your dentist has noticed your incisors are becoming worn down and now she’s recommending you wear a nightguard. However you came to the conclusion, your dentist in Tyler can give you peace-of-mind by confirming if you have TMJ disorder.
You shouldn’t let yourself suffer every morning when there is treatment available for your chronic pain. Today, we’ll discuss how your dentist diagnoses TMJ disorder and how to treat it.
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and is associated with TMD, a disorder causing dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. TMJ disorder is a common condition that affects many people throughout the country. This stress-induced condition is exacerbated by bruxism, or unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth. Bruxism can also cause migraines and damage your teeth, so getting treatment is imperative to your overall health as well as your oral health.
Because of the broad array of symptoms patients experience, TMJ disorder can be difficult to diagnose at first. That’s why your dentist has created a thorough evaluation to ensure that your diagnosis is as accurate as possible.
What Does Your Dentist Look For?
During evaluation, your dentist will examine your jaw joints, teeth, and muscles to determine exactly what treatment is needed to treat your painful symptoms that accompany TMJ disorder. They’ll also identify signs of bruxism since this is usually the source of pain in the TMJ.
TMJ disorders have many typical side effects, so you’ll want to watch out for any of the following and mention them at your next regularly scheduled dental visit:
- Limited range of motion
- Waking up tired or having restless nights
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- General pain around the jaw and mouth
Keep in mind these symptoms can also result from poor posture, bad diet, arthritis, or just general teeth grinding. Ear, sinus, and tooth infections can also stem from TMJ disorder, so mention this to your dentist as well.
What Does TMJ Therapy Entail?
To remove the symptoms of TMJ disorder and effectively treat it, your dentist provides several oral appliances. These are designed to shift your jaw back into proper place while you sleep and prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth throughout the night.
One oral device is the NTI-tss device, which interrupts the involuntary signal between your jaw’s side and temporal muscles. This reduces clenching intensity and causes your mouth’s muscles to relax in a stable position. You’ll quickly notice your bruxism-related migraines and other types of TMJ pain be completely eliminated after wearing it regularly.
Treat your TMJ pain with your dentist in Tyler today. You’ll be back to sleeping soundly again in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury wanted to be a dentist ever since he was very young. That’s why he attended Texas A&M University and Baylor College of Dentistry to earn his education and eventually start his practice. He’s certified in Oral Conscious Sedation and is a member of many dental associations. To learn more about this practice, contact him at (903) 561-1122 or visit his website.