The assessment and treatment of dental issues is an integral feature of dentistry because they affect how you chew and speak. In particular, occlusal disorders take place when the mouth’s teeth and jaw muscles do not work in harmony. Also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, they may cause muscle pain, joint pain, gum recession, recurrent headaches, and cracked sore or worn teeth.
At Ryan Rush DDS PLLC in Fort Collins, CO 80526, we provide excellent treatment for TMJ disorders, helping to ensure a correct bite for our patients.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorders affect the temporomandibular joint, a hinge that links your jawbone to your skull. We all have a TMJ on the sides of the face to facilitate movement that allows us to chew and talk. The first symptom of a TMJ disorder is pain in the jaw. Other symptoms of TMJ disorders include
- Difficulty in chewing and biting
- Facial pain
- Locking of the joint
- Clicking noise when you open your mouth
- Limited jaw movement
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
There are various causes for TMJ disorders. They include hormonal, genetic, and environmental aspects. The TMJ is a complex joint that integrates a hinge action with sliding movements, and hence many moving pieces and workings exist. Bones that interrelate with the TMJ are covered by cartilage and separated by a disk to smooth the motion. However, you may develop TMJ disorders if the disk moves out of alignment or erodes, damaging the cartilage and joint. Though the precise reasons for TMJ dysfunction are not always clear, it could happen as a result of:
- Physical injury
- Autoimmune diseases
- Oral surgery
- Clenching teeth during sleep
When Should You Seek Treatment for TMJ Disorder?
Many home remedies can ease the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. Some of them include reducing your jaw movement as much as possible, eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum, and resisting the impulse to clench your jaw. These lifestyle modifications can often relieve mild-to-moderate symptoms. However, if you have persistent pain in your jaw or struggle to open or close it completely, seek the assistance of dental professionals.
What Treatment Options Are Available for TMJ Disorders?
We provide a wide range of treatments for TMJ disorders of varying intensities. We facilitate an assortment of TMJ exercises and physical therapy routines for patients with mild symptoms to help realign the joint and reduce pain. These therapies help make jaw muscles stronger, promote flexibility in the TMJ, and help support surrounding structures.
In addition to these measures, we can provide you with a TMJ mouthguard that will provide your teeth with support. Other possible TMJ treatments include:
- Medications including pain relievers and muscle relaxants
- Corticosteroid injections
If you need treatment for TMJ disorder, call us at Ryan Rush, DDS PLLC, Dentist Fort Collins CO 80526, at (970) 223-5393, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Rush.