TMJ Symptoms and Treatment
The main cause of Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) is misalignment of the teeth. Pain in the jaw joint, clicking of the jaw, ear pain, headaches, pain in the temple area, stiff or sore jaw muscles, and locking of the jaw are all TMJ Symptoms.
TMJ Treatment- “The Band-Aid Approach”
If you suffer from TMJ, it’s important that you seek treatment from a dentist who has had additional post-doctoral training in treating TMJ problems. Many dentists will take “the band-aid approach” to treating TMJ Symptoms. For example, common TMJ Symptoms are Tooth Clenching and Tooth Grinding, which over time causes extensive wear and damage to teeth. To “solve” this issue, a common treatment plan by dentists without TMJ specific training is to do restorative work for any damage grinding has caused, and have the patient wear a night guard to prevent further damage. While this may indeed restore tooth damage and help prevent further wear while sleeping, it fails to fix the root cause of the TMJ which is misalignment of the teeth.
TMJ Treatment- fixing the root cause
An experienced dentist trained in treating TMJ understands the root cause of TMJ, which as I mentioned before, is Tooth Misalignment. We most commonly treat TMJ through a series of bite adjustments which corrects Tooth Misalignment. Additionally, we create a special appliance to be worn at night which keeps your bite aligned properly and dramatically reduces, if not eliminates, night-time Tooth Grinding and Tooth Clenching. Restorative treatment is often necessary to address wear and damage caused by Tooth Clenching and Tooth Grinding.
It’s really important to correct your bad bite and improve the fit of your teeth. If this is not done, then you will continue to clench and grind, and continue to wear your teeth down. Restorative work for TMJ Damage may start out as small as fillings, but if not corrected will progress to larger fillings, root canals, crowns, and eventually even Dental Implants. Because of the progressive nature of TMJ, it is imperative that it be addressed as early as possible.
Gary Adams, DDS has over 10 years of post-doctoral clinical experience and training, beyond dental school, in the area of TMJ treatment. He offers complimentary consultations and will create a customized treatment plan for you. Call today: 301-468-6200 or click here to schedule your consultation.