TMJ Treatment in Easton, PA
Fabey Dental provides TMJ treatment in Easton, PA. Call 610-810-2704 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
The temporomandibular joints connect each side of your jaw to the skull. Commonly referred to as TMJ, these joints operate like sliding hinges when you open and close your mouth. Most of the time, the TMJ function as they should and you don’t even think about them, but when these joints cause chronic pain, it can be difficult to think about anything else!
Chronic TMJ pain is called TMJ disorder, or TMD. This condition can be difficult to diagnose, because for some patients, the symptoms are headaches and earaches rather than obvious jaw pain. TMD may also be difficult to treat because it can have a number of underlying causes, each which requires a different treatment approach. This is why it’s important to see a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders.
Types of TMJ Pain
We typically categorize TMJ pain as one of the following:
Myofascial pain – Myofascial pain is pain in the muscles that control the joints, rather than pain originating in the TMJ themselves. Common causes of myofascial pain include jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and stress.
Internal derangement of the joint – When TMJ pain results from an injury that dislocates the jaw, displaces a disc, or injures the condyle, it can result in internal derangement.
Arthritis – Arthritis can affect the temporomandibular joints just as it affects the knees and other joints in the body. If your TMD is related to arthritis, we can work with your rheumatologist to ensure that both the cause of your TMD and its symptoms are addressed.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
These are the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder:
- Facial tenderness, especially around the jaw and cheeks
- Pain or feelings of fullness in or around the ears
- Jaw tightness
- Popping and clicking sounds when eating or opening the mouth
- Locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Disorder
How do you fix TMJ?
Unfortunately, there’s no universal solution for TMJ disorder. To find the right treatment for you, we must first diagnose the underlying cause of your TMD. A patient whose pain is caused by arthritis will have very different treatment needs than someone whose pain is caused by nighttime jaw clenching. Common solutions for TMD include stabilization splints (sometimes known as night guards), Botox injections, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy exercises. We’ll also advise you of effective self-management strategies, like using ice packs and eating a soft food diet during flare-ups.
Can TMJ go away on its own?
TMJ pain does go away on its own for some patients. If your pain is related to an injury or a stressful time in your life, it may resolve without treatment. That said, when pain is persistent, you should seek care to prevent permanent damage.
How can I fix my TMJ without surgery?
Surgery is rarely needed for TMJ disorder—it’s considered a last resort that is reserved only for the most extreme cases and for situations in which the joint is clearly damaged. Start with self-managed care, then if this doesn’t help, stabilization splints, medication, and Botox injections are all non-surgical treatment options for TMD.
Do night guards really work?
Night guards work for patients whose TMJ pain is caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding that occurs while they sleep. These appliances relax the jaw muscles, reducing pain and inflammation.
Does stress make TMJ worse?
Yes, TMJ disorder can be related to stress in some patients. Stress can cause the muscle tension that leads to teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
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