TMJ / TMD
The “Temporomandibular Joint” more commonly referred to as the “TMJ” assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that “popping” sounds in the jaw indicates TMJ dysfunction, this is not always true. Many times your jaw is functioning properly even if a “popping” sound is present when chewing or talking.
We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue, or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movements of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.
For more chronic cases of TMJ, we will recommend treatment using a mouth guard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort by repositioning your teeth and the cartilaginous disc on the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend evaluation by a specialist for surgical intervention.