Restore Function and Relieve Pain

Everyone has two temporomandibular joints (TMJ), one on each side of the jaw. The joints connect the skull to the jawbone and play a key role in allowing you to speak, chew and open or close your mouth. Unlike other joints in your body, the TMJ can move side to side, forward and backward. They're some of the most complicated joints in the human body. 

They're also susceptible to dysfunction, known as TMJ disorder or TMD. TMD can be uncomfortable, causing jaw pain when opening mouth, chewing or speaking. Luckily, our treatment options at Niva Dental Specialists can help ease the pain and restore your smile.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder or TMD is a dysfunction of the TMJ. It develops when the tissues around the TMJ become irritated or inflamed. Often, TMD takes one of three forms:

  • Joint disorders
  • Chewing muscle disorders
  • Headaches associated with TMJ

People often use TMD and TMJ interchangeably.

TMJ Symptoms

Symptoms of TMD or TMJ vary depending on the type of disorder you have. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the face, jaw or ears
  • Pain or pressure behind the eyes
  • Clicking or popping sound when you open or close the mouth
  • Pain when opening or closing the mouth
  • Migraines
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Jaw that feels out of joint
  • Facial swelling

Usually, clicking when you open or close the mouth isn't a problem on its own, as about one-third of people have jaw joints that click or pop. But when the popping or clicking is accompanied by pain or limited jaw movement, it's probably due to a TMJ disorder, notably a shifting disc in the joint.

Soreness or stiffness in the jaw muscles that occurs in the morning is usually a sign that you were grinding or clenching your teeth while you slept.

What Causes TMD/TMJ?

In some cases, the exact cause of TMD isn't known. In some situations, a problem with the TMJ develops following an injury or dislocation of the jaw. Erosion of the discs in the TMJ can also lead to TMD, as can a poorly aligned jaw or misaligned teeth. Your posture can also contribute to TMD. 

Other common causes of TMD include arthritis of the TMJ and teething grinding.  

TMJ/TMD Treatment Benefits

For some people, TMD is a temporary problem that can resolve on its own. But why live with pain and discomfort when treatment is available? Treatments for TMD offer multiple benefits, including:

  • Pain relief: TMD can cause a sore jaw, headaches and general facial pain. Treatment helps ease that pain. 
  • Improved oral health: TMD can lead to tooth decay, joint damage and worn-down teeth. With treatment, you're able to open and close your mouth comfortably, so you can take excellent care of your teeth and gums. Treatment can also help ease teeth clenching and grinding.
  • Better quality of life: TMD can limit your life. You might avoid social engagements due to headaches or change your diet because it's painful to chew certain foods. With treatment, you can see a vast improvement in your overall quality of life. 

TMJ/TMD Treatment Options

Treatment options for TMD range from relaxation techniques to medications. Some people need minimal interventions to see a dramatic improvement in their symptoms.

Before starting treatment, we'll evaluate your situation, including your concerns and symptoms. We'll also examine your mouth and jaw.

From there, we'll recommend the treatment option we think will best help you, such as:

  1. Hot and cold packs to alleviate pain
  2. Custom bite plate or splint to prevent teeth grinding
  3. Orthodontic treatment to help correct misaligned teeth and jaw
  4. Relaxation techniques to reduce tension and minimize pain
  5. Muscle relaxers to ease pain associated with TMD and reduce tension in the jaw
  6. Surgery might be needed in certain situations to reduce TMD symptoms

TMJ Specialist Austin

If you're looking for a TMJ dentist near me, you've come to the right place. At Niva Dental Specialists, we believe in providing you with your smile, your way. We'll help you discover the cause of your TMD and investigate the best treatment options for it. Contact Dr. Shouvik Ponnusamy today for a TMJ consultation.

Learn More About TMJ

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