TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders impact many people. Many of the symptoms that TMJ disorders exhibit may be difficult to recognize as a TMJ disorder. Williamsburg Center for Dental Health’s Dr. Stacey Hall, a dentist in Williamsburg, VA, discusses TMJ disorders and treating them with a conservative therapy approach.
What are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders involve these joints not functioning in the way they should be. These joints are for jaw movement, so eating, speaking, and yawning. When these joints aren’t running smoothly, it can mean pain and struggles with popping and locking up when you try to do any of these activities.
How Do I Know if I Have a TMJ Disorder?
There are many symptoms of TMJ disorders. Some of them might not strike you as something that would point to a TMJ disorder. However, if you have one or many of the following symptoms, it’s time to visit your Williamsburg, Virginia dentist, Dr. Hall:
- Headaches, especially when waking up in the morning
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Pain in the jaw, face, or ears
- Noticing your jaw locking up or popping when you move it
- Having trouble or pain while chewing
Many patients come to us after talking to an ear, nose, and throat doctor about ear pain. Even if you don’t think your symptoms are because of TMJ disorders, it’s good to get checked out just in case.
Conservative Therapy for TMJ Disorders
The Williamsburg Center for Dental Health firmly believes that a conservative approach works the best for TMJ disorders. At our office, we have a digital bite system to see if your TMJ disorder is caused by a misaligned bite, as many are. If you need more tests, we can use a 3D imaging system for a closer look.
One of our approaches is making custom mouthguard-like devices to help you with clenching and grinding your teeth. This can be worn when you’re sleeping to make sure you don’t grind your teeth at night. It can also be worn whenever you know you’ll be in a stressful situation. This can prevent more or any damage to your teeth, as well as relieve the tension from clenching.
There are also many home remedies you can utilize to help the symptoms you suffer from. These include:
- Eating soft foods, or cutting foods into small pieces
- Use over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen to take care of pain and swelling
- Rest an ice pack on your jaw to help pain and swelling
- Keep your teeth apart so they aren’t clenching together
- Don’t do any strenuous jaw movements
- Avoid resting your chin on your hand or hold the phone with your shoulder and ear
Consciously doing these things can help relax the muscles in your jaw and release the strain on the joint.
TMJ Disorder Treatment at Your Williamsburg, Virginia Dentist
Do you think you may suffer from a TMJ disorder? Call us today or schedule an appointment online!