TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder is the term that is used to cover a range of conditions that relate to pain in the jaw muscles. At Stoke Lane Dentistry, our dentists understand the anatomy and mechanics of the jaw muscles and are able to diagnose the root cause of the problem and advise accordingly. With the correct treatment these issues can be resolved, freeing you from pain and bringing back full functionality to your jaw.
What are the benefits of TMJ Disorder Assessment?
Approximately one in ten people in the United Kingdom experience problems related to the jaw joint at some point in their lives. The most common symptom is pain, either in the jaw itself or in and around the cheek, ear, neck and shoulder areas. Other indications include restricted movement of the jaw, a grating/ popping sound when talking or eating, and migraine headaches.
We are able to assess and diagnose your condition. Your dentist will carefully examine your jaw, mouth, head and neck and ask you about your symptoms and medical history. This information will allow us to determine the cause of the issue and to advise on the appropriate treatment. In some cases surgery may be required, in which case we will refer you to a specialist.
Treatment depends on what we discover the underlying cause of the problem to be. For example, if the issue is teeth grinding or clenching, then the condition can be alleviated by the use of a bite splint. Conversely, where the symptoms are a result of the misalignment of teeth or the jaw, then orthodontic braces can be used to treat the condition.
Where we are unable to treat the condition ourselves we will refer you to a physician or appropriate specialist.
In some cases it is possible to self-manage symptoms and for the condition to get better on its own. Problems in the jaw joint often get better in less than six months without further issue. Resting the jaw as much as possible during this period will alleviate pain as well as aid recovery. Eating softer foods that require less chewing will also be helpful.
Bad habits, such as biting nails or chewing pens, should be avoided. Stress and related teeth grinding can also be a major contributing factor to jaw pain, so steps should be taken to prevent or minimise this where possible. Massage of the jaw muscles is beneficial and the application of heat to the area can also provide relief.
Painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, may provide relief from pain in some cases. Your dentist will also be able to advise on other medicinal options where appropriate.
Surgery is only rarely required for TMJ disorder and is generally only used in very severe cases or when all other options to treat the condition have failed.
We aim to ensure our prices are as affordable as possible and competitive compared to other dentists in Bristol. Please call 01179 629902 to speak to a member of our team about a TMJ disorder treatment.