The constant headaches, facial pain, and other symptoms of a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can be distressing. Unfortunately, many patients do not realize the relationship between their bite and these painful symptoms of TMJ. Grinding, clenching, trauma, and other factors can have an adverse effect on the health of your temporomandibular joints. At Dental Arts of Boston, MA, we have the expertise and technology to diagnose and treat your TMJ problems accurately.

What Is a TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joints connect the jawbone to the skull. On both sides of your face, there is one temporomandibular joint located. These jaw joints are complicated structures involving bone interactions, cartilage disks, facial and cranial muscles, and nerves.

A TMJ disorder refers to dysfunction that affects the normal movement and use of the jaw. The condition causes pain and swelling in the temporomandibular joints and surrounding tissues. Temporomandibular joint disorders can make it challenging to chew, bite, speak, and make certain facial expressions.

Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

  • Popping or clicking sounds when opening or closing the mouth
  • Stiffness or locking of the jaw
  • Fatigue of the facial muscles
  • Jaw pain or soreness
  • Damaged teeth
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Difficulty eating foods

TMJ Treatments at Dental Arts of Boston, MA

TMJ is a complicated condition, displaying varied symptoms. If an assortment of diagnostic tests at our office prove that your TMJ discomfort is the result of an improper bite, your treatment plan could include:

Natural Pain Relief

If you experience different temporomandibular disorder symptoms, it is sensible to avoid overusing the jaw muscles by consuming soft foods, cutting food into small bites, and avoiding chewing gum and other sticky or chewy foods. Ice compresses, and pain medications are the first recommended treatments for acute pain in or around the TMJs.

 Splint Therapy

If a bite discrepancy is identified, our dentist may recommend an orthopedic splint to align and stabilize the mandible lower jaw. This is a diagnostic tool that encourages healing, and you can feel an improvement immediately after beginning to use it. Most of you may notice a reduction in headaches and neck pain and consequently sleep better. It usually takes eight to twelve weeks of wearing the splint full time to allow your body to adjust and achieve a stable joint position of the TMJs.

Permanent Treatment

Permanent treatment to maintain the ideal jaw position and healthy chewing functions can be designed to maintain your health and comfort. This may include orthodontic treatment, adjusting the bite, and repairing damaged teeth. Surgery is usually unnecessary and is generally recommended in acute injury situations such as whiplash.

To learn more about our TMJ treatments, visit our Dental Arts of Boston office at 26 Marlborough St Dental Suite, Boston MA, 02116. You can also reach us at (617) 266-0441 and schedule an appointment.