Do your jaws often feel sore or overworked? If so, then you might be suffering from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This condition can wear down the jaw joint over time, leading to worsening symptoms and declining oral and systemic health. Luckily, there are simple general dentistry treatments (like TMJ treatment!) to address the pain and dysfunction.
Don’t let TMJ pain disrupt your life. Get lasting relief with Dr. Thomas W. Wegner and his team at Town & Country Dental. Book your appointment now by calling our Oak Park, IL, dental office at (708) 383-0330.
In today’s blog post, Dr. Wegner defines TMJ disorder and offers his professional insight on available TMJ treatment options. Understanding the nature of the condition can help you choose treatments that benefit you the most.
What is the temporomandibular joint?
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint connecting the skull to the mandible (lower jaw). As such, it is responsible for opening and closing the mouth, much like the hinges on a door.
To locate the joint, simply place your fingers on either side of your temples (close to your ears). Then, slowly open and close your mouth. You should be able to feel the TMJ in motion!
What is a temporomandibular joint disorder?
A temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a condition in which the muscles, connective tissues, nerves, and joints of the jaw become subject to damage or dysfunction. This may be caused by:
- Trauma to the head or jaw
- Overuse, as with prolonged gum chewing
- Eating very tough foods, like beef jerky
- Malocclusions, like crossbites
- Bruxism (the involuntary clenching or grinding of teeth while slumbering)
- Stress, depression, and anxiety
What are my TMJ treatment options?
When it comes to available TMJ treatment options, many patients want to know how they can address the condition at home. Here, we’ll give you some at-home remedies to try before seeking professional TMJ treatments.
Many at-home remedies rely on consciously adjusting our jaw position or bodily posture to mitigate jaw pain. But, this is often much more difficult than it may seem, as it requires near-constant attention.
Here are some simpler ways to get TMJ treatment at home:
- Take over-the-counter painkillers
- Alternate hot and cold compresses to soothe sore jaws and reduce swelling
- Practice gentle jaw stretches for an improved range of motion
- Avoid chewing on fingernails, ice, and gum
- Choose softer foods
- Reduce life stressors as much as possible
Professional TMJ Treatment Options
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but at-home TMJ treatments often don’t provide the long-lasting relief that patients seek. Fortunately, professional TMJ treatment options are far more successful.
At Town & Country Dental, we can help you get lasting relief with these effective TMJ treatments:
- Personalized night guards: These appliances fit over the teeth like a sports mouth guard. As a result, they provide protection against bruxism while also keeping the jaw in a neutral position. This can take significant strain off of the jaw joint, which greatly reduces discomfort.
- Corrective dental work: Some treatments (like Invisalign® or dental bonding) can establish a better range of motion in the jaw and optimal contact between the teeth, which can take pressure off of the TMJ.
TMJ Treatment in Oak Park, IL
Are you one of the estimated 31% of adults living with a temporomandibular joint disorder? If so, you deserve safe and effective TMJ treatment with Dr. Wegner. Schedule your appointment now at (708) 383-0330 or online here.