TMJ Treatment Wayne, PA

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the skull and jaw bone. They aid in chewing and speaking. TMJ disorders occur when these joints are injured and/or under stress. At Wayne Family Dentistry, we treat patients with TMJ disorders in our Wayne, PA dental office.

Our team takes a comprehensive approach to dental treatment. They take the time to thoroughly examine the smile and then may recommend the appropriate restorative dental care. TMJ disorders can be highly damaging. Over time, they can wear down teeth and muscles in the jaw. Contact our dental office to restore function and comfort to your teeth, jaw joints, and bite.

Treating TMJ Disorders in Wayne, Pennsylvania

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

There are many things that can lead to TMJ disorder, and there is most likely more than one cause. The causes can vary significantly between patients; however, there are several common factors that have been identified.

A primary cause of TMJ disorder is trauma to the jaw. Physical injury includes a blow to the face, whiplash, or any direct impact that can strain the joint. Arthritis is another leading cause that can lead to the degeneration of the jaw joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain and dysfunction with the TMJ.

General stress is another contributing factor that can lead to TMJ disorder. Stress causes people to tense up, leading to tightening of the face and jaw muscles. Stress also causes people to clench their jaw and grind their teeth. If you are diagnosed with TMJ disorder, it is vital that you work on managing your stress level.

Too much strain on the TMJ is often due to habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching your jaw. These actions place an excess amount of pressure on the joints. Over time, it will cause the jaw joints to become inflamed, leading to significant pain and difficulty moving the jaw. Additionally, crooked teeth or jaw misalignment can place a lot of pressure on the joints. Correcting these dental issues can reduce the strain on the jaw and abnormal functioning of the TMJ.

What Are Common TMJ Symptoms?

As with the causes, symptoms of TMJ disorder will be different for every patient. If you suffer from any of these TMJ symptoms, you should contact your Wayne, PA dentist as soon as possible. If you keep track of all your symptoms, it will be easier for your dentist to accurately diagnose you. There are several other medical conditions that could be confused for this disorder. Some of the most prevalent signs of TMJ disorders include:

  • Jaw and tooth pain
  • Teeth clenching and grinding (Bruxism)
  • Tooth wear
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Jaw popping and clicking

It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose TMJ disorders. This is because symptoms can happen unconsciously. Oftentimes, patients will clench and grind their teeth at night or during stressful situations. However, at regular visits, we examine the teeth and gums. We can spot signs of tooth wear that are often a tell-tale sign of a TMJ disorder.

Treating TMJ Disorders

One of the best treatment options for patients with TMJ disorders is nightguards. Similar to custom mouthguards, these oral appliances are made of hard acrylic. They are typically worn at night to stop teeth clenching and grinding.

Nightguards also relieve pressure from the jaw joints and muscles. When patients grind their teeth, they are continually working the muscles and joints in the jaw. Wearing an oral appliance when this occurs can alleviate some of the pressure caused by bruxism.

For many patients, we will recommend physical therapy and lifestyle changes to help alleviate stress. During physical therapy, patients will learn exercises to improve their posture and keep their bite in line. If needed, we will also recommend that patients stick to a soft diet for multiple weeks. This can also relieve stress and pressure on the muscles and joints in the jaw.

If you suffer from misalignment of the jaw, we can also strive to correct your bite. Known as occlusal equilibration, we will strive to bring your upper and lower teeth into contact properly. We can achieve this using various restorative dental treatments. The goal is to eliminate the stress on your jaw joints by correcting the bite. After treatment, your jaw will be able to open and close in the proper position. Restorative dentistry treatments we can use to correct your bite includes: dental crowns, tooth bonding, dental veneers, or other necessary dental treatments.

Crooked teeth or misaligned teeth can lead to strain on the TMJ. We can use orthodontic treatment to align your teeth and eliminate this strain. Using Invisalign, we can restore balance to the bite by aligning your teeth. Invisalign treatment uses clear aligners to slowly guide your teeth into proper alignment.

Call Our Dental Office Today

Do you suspect that you may have a TMJ disorder? TMJ disorder can significantly impact your quality of life because they are very painful. Our dental team will diagnose you and help you find relief from your jaw pain.

Contact our dental office by calling 610-347-5133. You may also request a dental consultation with our team online. At your next dental visit, let us know if you have further questions or concerns. Our dentists will be glad to help you.