Allen Park TMJ Therapy
Many people think that TMJ dysfunction, often referred to as just TMJ, is only jaw pain or lock jaw, the complete inability to open and close the mouth. Actually, patients who are suffering from TMJ dysfunction can struggle with even the simplest daily tasks from chewing and speaking to sharing a smile or even yawning. If you’re struggling with TMJ dysfunction, don’t let this condition keep you from leading a healthy, happy life. Instead, schedule a consultation appointment with skilled Allen Park dentist, Frank Stankiewicz, DDS, and his dedicated dentistry team to schedule a TMJ dysfunction consultation today. We’ll examine your condition, discuss treatment options, and help you to put the beautiful, pain free smile back on your face.
What is TMJ Dysfunction?
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the jaw to the skull bone. When these tiny connective tissues are strained, overused, or damaged, the result can be difficulty speaking, chewing, and smiling as well as limited movement or complete jaw immobility. These oral health conditions are referred to collectively as TMJ dysfunction.
What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?
The causes of TMJ dysfunction can vary dramatically from patient to patient. In order to provide adequate treatment, we’ll need to fully understand what lead to your disorder. Some of the most common causes of TMJ dysfunction include:
- Stress that causes muscle tension
- Overworking the jaw by consuming difficult to chew foods, unconscious jaw movement, or nighttime teeth grinding and clenching
- Uneven bite placing excessive pressure on the TMJ
- Facial trauma may injure the TMJ leading to painful or difficult movement
What are the Warning Signs of TMJ Dysfunction?
During your dental exams every six months, we’ll screen for visible and mechanical symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. In many cases, our team cannot diagnosis TMJ dysfunction unless patients tell us about the symptoms they experience that aren’t visible. Some of the most common warning signs of this condition include:
- Jaw pain that can be dull or sharp
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth or complete jaw immobility
- Clicking or grinding sound when opening and closing the mouth
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Earaches and potential hearing loss
- Radiating head, neck, and back pain
How is TMJ Dysfunction Treated?
TMJ dysfunction can be treated using a number of different techniques based in large part on the underlying cause of TMJ dysfunction. For instance, patients who experience stress related TMJ dysfunction may need to take steps to relieve stress. Other patients can restore their full, comfortable range of motion with daily stretching exercises to improve jaw movement and comfort. Those patients whose nighttime teeth grinding and clenching contributes to TMJ dysfunction may receive adequate treatment using custom crafted oral appliances to reposition and immobilize the jaw during sleep. Orthodontic treatments may be necessary for those whose TMJ dysfunction stems from a misaligned bite. For our patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction, we create a personalized treatment plan to address the individual’s needs that may combine any number of treatments.