TMJ, short for temporomandibular joint, is the common term used to describe a chronic pain condition often associated with a misalignment or malfunction in the jaw joint. While there is no one cause or treatment for TMJ good diagnostics and analysis of the bite can allow for more precise treatment options and lasting results that address underlying oral health-related issues. Dr. Heather Adams offers TMJ treatment in Rogers, AR for patients suffering from TMJ symptoms. This restorative dentistry service will help you find relief from your TMJ headaches and other painful symptoms.
Patients with TMJ often suffer from painful symptoms for many years due to misdiagnosis of their condition. Dr. Adams has advanced post-graduate training from the SPEAR academy on the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ-related disorders. Personalized consultations allow Dr. Adams to gain a better understanding of the underlying functional issues affecting the health of the jaw.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by a number of factors, many of which cause muscle tension in the jaw which leads to associated symptoms. Patients with TMJ often also have some degree of malocclusion of the bite, crooked teeth, or other orthodontic issues. Additionally, an injury or trauma to the jaw can damage the TMJ and cause chronic pain symptoms.
Bruxism or habitual teeth grinding is another common cause of damage to the jaw joint and muscles. Patients who clench their jaw or grind their teeth often experience the painful symptoms of TMJ.
Do I Have TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the base of the skull. The joint is surrounded by many delicate muscles, tendons, and sensitive nerve endings. When the jaw is not properly aligned it can cause the added tension resulting in pain in the face, neck, and jaw.
Common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw, face, or neck
- Reoccurring headaches
- Earaches or sensation of fullness in ears
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Numbness in the face or hands
- Excessively worn, chipped, or cracked teeth
TMJ Treatment in Rogers, AR
TMJ therapy is a restorative dentistry service that Dr. Heather Adams provides in Rogers, AR.
The underlying cause of your jaw pain will determine the type of treatment you receive. Dr. Adams will work with the patient to develop a treatment plan that will correct functional issues and restore damage caused to the teeth and gums due to prolonged malfunction of the jaw.
Dr. Adams offers traditional and innovative solutions for addressing TMJ. From oral sleep appliance therapy to Botox® therapeutic, Dr. Adams can help you find relief from discomfort and improve oral health.
For some patients, a single treatment option will correct underlying issues while others may use a combination of therapies to fully restore their smile.
- Clear Braces: If your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, we can use invisible aligners to realign your teeth and address malocclusion to realign the bite. This treatment will relieve tension in the jaw. It is a discreet treatment and it is more comfortable compared to normal brackets and wires. To learn more about the clear braces process, see Invisible Braces.
- Oral Sleep Appliance Therapy: A custom oral sleep appliance can help prevent teeth grinding or clenching your jaw during sleep. It will provide a barrier so your top and bottom teeth can no longer make contact. This will help reduce strain on the TMJ and surrounding muscles as well as protect the teeth. An oral sleep appliance will help patients find relief from their jaw pain, improve jaw functionality, and prevent wear and damaged to the teeth caused by grinding or clenching.
- Botox: Botox can be injected deep into the jaw muscles for the temporary relief of painful symptoms associated with TMJ. Dr. Adams will inject the Botox to help release any tension in the TMJ. This treatment is safe to use every six months. To learn more about the benefits of Botox injections for TMJ disorders, see Botox.
- Restorative Dentistry: We often see how teeth grinding affects the TMJ and the teeth. Severe damage can occur resulting in restorative dental care. Dr. Adams offers several treatment to restore your oral health. Dental crowns, dental bonding, or porcelain veneers may be used to repair damage caused to the teeth or to properly align your teeth. To learn more about the restorative treatments we offer, see Restorative Dentistry.
TMJ Treatment FAQs
To learn more about TMJ disorders and TMJ treatments, read our frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, please call our dental practice during normal business hours.
Why does my jaw and face always hurt?
Jaw and orofacial pain are commonly caused by a misalignment or misuse of the jaw joint. Temporomandibular disorders, called TMJ, can be caused by malocclusion of the bite, crooked teeth, or teeth grinding.
How can I stop grinding my teeth?
Many patients who grind their teeth do so in their sleep. For these patients, an oral sleep appliance can prevent the jaw from grinding together while they are sleeping.
For other patients clenching or grinding of the jaw is related to stress. This habit may be subconscious and exacerbated during times of high stress. Patients may benefit from changes in lifestyle, therapy, and regular exercise.
Could my my headaches be caused by TMJ?
Yes. Chronic headaches, especially when they occur first thing in the morning, are often a symptom of TMJ or bruxism.
Dr. Adams will perform a thorough bite and jaw analysis to help determine the functional cause of your chronic headaches. Dr. Adams offers oral sleep appliance therapy as well as Botox for the relief of headaches.
What will happen if I do not seek treatment for my TMJ?
TMJ disorders are not life threatening. However, they are painful and will affect your quality of life. Chronic pain can lead to severe depression, anxiety, and lack of sleep. If your TMJ is caused by clenching or teeth grinding, this will cause your teeth to wear down prematurely and harm your gums.
How can I prevent a TMJ disorder?
If you are at risk for TMJ issues, you will need to be proactive to prevent developing a disorder. Avoid excessive jaw movement like gum chewing and nail biting. Manage stress through activities like exercise and relaxation techniques to prevent teeth grinding. Maintain good posture to reduce strain on the jaw joint and be cautious with wide yawning to prevent excessive stretching. Avoid hard, sticky foods, limit caffeine and alcohol, and consider a custom-fitted mouthguard if you grind your teeth. Regular dental check-ups can help address issues promptly, contributing to TMJ health.
Can a TMJ disorder affect my sleep?
Yes, a TMJ disorder can impact your sleep. Pain and discomfort in the jaw joint can interfere with rest, leading to sleep disturbances. You may find it challenging to get comfortable, affecting your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, thereby impacting their overall sleep quality.