Woman holding jaw due to TMJ painAccording to the National Institute of Craniofacial Research (NICR), Temporomandibular joint disorders affect over 10 million people, and these complications affect more women than men.

What is a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that is located near the front of your ears. This joint attaches your jaw, called the mandible, to the temporal bone at the side of your skull. The TMJ allows your jaw to move up and down and side to side easily. This aids in chewing food, yawning and speaking.

However, when your jaw is not moving properly or is moving but painfully, it could be a symptom of a temporomandibular disorder.

At Enhance Family Dental, we offer different non-surgical treatment and therapy options for TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

TMJ disorders can result in many symptoms. It is often very difficult to make a proper diagnosis since most or even all of these symptoms can be a result of some other health issues. At Enhance Family Dental, Brian Hill, DDS can help make a proper diagnosis of your problem by taking the appropriate x-rays, reviewing your medical history, and conducting comprehensive clinical exams.

Some of the most common signs of TMJ disorders include:
•  Severe headache, earache and a feeling of pressure behind the eyes
•  Tenderness and ache in jaw muscles
•  Clicking, popping or grating sound when you move your jaw
•  Pain when opening your mouth
•  Experiencing lockjaw where your jaw gets temporarily stuck
•  Sudden change in your bite

Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

The exact cause of TMJ disorders is not known, though we believe that stress can affect the jaw, neck, and facial muscles as well as the nerves, blood vessels, teeth, and ligaments. Since the condition is more common in women aged between 20 and 40 years, some researchers believe it may be linked to female hormones.

Treatment for Temporomandibular Disorders

Based on the recommendation by the NICR, at Enhance Family Dental, we offer non-surgical options for the treatment of TMJ disorders.

The first phase of TMJ treatment usually involves prescribing a mouthguard. These mouthguards are made of a strong and rigid acrylic material and function as a splint. These mouthguards help to reposition the jaw in the correct position, improve your bite, and alleviate the painful symptoms.

Due to the precise nature of the TMJ mouthguard, we may have to make several adjustments to the device so that it fits perfectly in your mouth. For those who suffer from TMJ disorders, we strongly recommend NOT ordering a stock mouthguard online. Instead, they should call us at (586) 666-4950 to schedule an appointment.

There are some other ways we can help you treat TMJ disorders.
•  Prescribing pain-relieving medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.
•  Applying moist heat to the affected area
•  Teaching you relaxation techniques that help muscle tension in the jaw
•  Eating soft foods
•  Avoid exaggerated jaw movement, like yawning
•  Following gentle jaw stretching exercises suggested by us

TMJ surgery is NOT recommended as it carries a lot of irreparable risks and its effectiveness is limited.

If you feel your jaw has dislocated or is causing you much pain, it is important that you visit Enhance Family Dental promptly so that we can treat the problem quickly before it worsens.

(586) 666-4950
37540 Gratiot Ave, Clinton Twp, MI 48036

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