TMJ is a serious condition that can impact life quality. If you have TMJ, the temporomandibular joints are not functioning as they should; these joints connect your lower jaw to your lower face, allowing for purposeful movements such as eating, yawning, and speaking.
In severe cases, TMJ may require surgery.
TMJ is sometimes linked to bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching).
How Do I Know If I Have TMJ?
If you have mild TMJ, you may not have many symptoms—at least, not at first. But over time, you may notice some or all of the following symptoms:
- A clicking sound in the joint when you yawn or chew
- Jaw joint pain and locking
- Head, shoulder, and neck pain
If your TMJ is linked to bruxism, you may also notice additional symptoms, including:
- Tooth wear and fractures
- Increased head, neck, and shoulder pain
- Exaggerated musculature in front of the ears
TMJ can result from bruxism, orthodontic issues, injury, or be present at birth. In some cases, we do not discover the culprit. However, treatment is crucial to preserve life quality.
Treating TMJ in Concord, NH
Your dentist first assesses you for TMJ to help determine the best course of treatment. One option your dentist might consider is appliance therapy.
Appliance therapy means we craft a custom splint worn over the teeth while you sleep. It helps relax the jaw joints, promoting healing and repair. Appliance therapy also helps curb bruxism.
Your dentist will discuss the options after assessing your level of TMJ and the potential cause. For example, if stress is causing bruxism, it may be necessary also to treat the anxiety.
Contact Your Dentist Near Me Today
TMJ can be a potentially serious condition of the jaw joints. If you notice symptoms, we encourage you to contact a helpful dental team member to arrange a consultation with your Concord dentist.