Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction “TMJ” is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMJ is characterized by headaches, neck aches, jaw pain of varying degrees, and grinding teeth. The vast majority of TMJ sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that Family Dentistry of Milford can effectively treat.
The symptoms of TMJ are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well-being of the patient is at the heart of our dental practice, so pain relief is the first consideration. Dr. Patel is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.
Reasons for treating TMJ
TMJ sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.
The most common cause of TMJ is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” It is possible to realign or adjust the teeth without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. The realignment/adjustment will stop the pounding headaches, the jaw pain, and the dizziness.
The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMJ is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.
What does treating TMJ involve?
TMJ could be a result of several different problems. Bad bite is the most common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, Dr. Patel will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patients bite, take x-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.
Once a firm diagnosis is attained, there are several ways in which relief can be provided. A specially molded night guard can be created to prevent interferences during the night.
Another option is to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely. This is especially useful because it alleviates TMJ symptoms and may improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Realignment involves adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth come together with the lower teeth. This may require new estorations and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well. It is not a painful procedure, and one Dr. Patel has performed with great success.