TMJ & Bruxism Treatment
Do you experience jaw or shoulder pain or headaches when you wake up in the morning? Does your partner often escape to the sofa because your jaw makes loud clicking or popping sounds while you're asleep? If the answer is yes, you may be dealing with bruxism or teeth grinding that is often a sign of TMJ problems or TMD.
For some people, the symptoms are so painful that they compromise their quality of life, leaving them desperate for a solution. At Randolph Dental Associates, we can often help patients eliminate teeth grinding and a painful jaw joint with a simple customized oral device.
How Are TMJ and TMD Related?
"TMJ" refers to the temporomandibular joint itself, while TMD or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, a condition that refers to any dysfunction of the TMJ. One of the most-used joints in your body, the TMJ can become sore and painful due to overuse. This can occur because of bruxism or chronic teeth grinding but may also be related to arthritis, malocclusion (bad dental bite), or head or jaw injury.
This condition is not rare or unusual, and millions of people's lives have been disrupted by TMD symptoms that include severe headaches, facial and jaw pain, worn or broken teeth, and teeth grinding (bruxism). But it doesn't have to be that way.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
There are a wide variety of causes for painful TMJ symptoms, but a misaligned dental bite is often the culprit. As you grind your teeth, this constant stress takes its toll, wearing away healthy natural tooth structure. Other symptoms to be aware of are:
- Jaw pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Pain when you yawn or chew
- Difficulty when opening or closing your mouth
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Mouth locked open or closed
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
Don't worry if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, however. Only a small number of those with TMJ problems ever develop long-term symptoms. You may experience only mild discomfort occasionally, and jaw joint pain may even subside with little or no treatment.
How Do You Treat TMJ Pain?
The first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Christopher Kaplan at Randolph Dental Associates. He will perform a thorough evaluation that includes taking digital and panoramic x-rays of your teeth and jaws to try to pinpoint the source of your pain. He will also check your dental bite to identify the relationship between your TMJ and the way your teeth come together when you bite down.
Each patient has unique needs, and many factors enter into the treatment decisions we make. But in many cases, we can help minimize your symptoms without costly and complicated treatment. There are several approaches that Dr. Kaplan might recommend to help you find relief:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
- Oral splints or occlusal guards
- Prescription muscle relaxers
- BOTOX® injections
- Relaxation therapies and dealing with stress
Schedule a TMJ Consultation in Randolph, NJ
Don't let the painful symptoms of TMJ problems take over your life. Dr. Kaplan will evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan to relieve your pain and restore your quality of life. We are pleased to serve our neighbors in Randolph, Chester, Mendham, and Morristown.