TMJ in Traverse City, MI
Patients who suffer from jaw pain, chronic headaches, face and neck pain, constant clicking and popping when they chew, or earaches may have a misaligned bite. When jaw joints aren’t working in tandem with the surrounding muscles, painful symptoms result. Thankfully, our expert dentists provide much-needed relief through effective treatments for TMJ issues right here in our office.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD
The following are common symptoms of TMJ/TMD:
- Chronic headaches
- Intense facial pain
- A stiff neck
- Soreness in the jaw
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. These joints are positioned on each side of your jaw, and they operate as hinges that attach your jaw to your skull. TMJ is also a broad term for a type of temporomandibular joint disorder that causes pain in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles that control jaw movement.
What is TMD?
TMD is a TMJ disorder, and this term is used interchangeably with TMJ. TMD/TMJ is a common jaw condition that results when a jaw and its chewing muscles are misaligned.
If you are in pain, we recommend you schedule an appointment with us immediately. While you wait to see one of our dentists, try some home remedies that often prove successful in relieving discomfort. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers and temporary self-care treatments that are effective in reducing pain include:
- Eating soft foods
- Resting your jaw
- Applying ice or heat
- Allowing for space between your teeth when not eating or swallowing
Splints, Nightguards, and Stress Management
During your appointment, we assess your jaw, determine the cause of the condition, diagnose your issue, and create a treatment plan. TMJ therapy often involves a combination of treatments. Grinding and clenching your teeth are often the root of the TMJ problem, so we often begin by recommending stress management techniques to reduce tension and grinding habits. We also fit patients for upper and/or lower-teeth splints that separate your teeth and help to relax the surrounding muscles, reducing the pain.
Nightguards are another option for minimizing the amount of tension you experience when you grind or clench at night. These devices also protect the surrounding cartilage and joint surfaces. We also offer appliances that help move the jaw forward to its proper position which reduces pressure on your jaw. Orthodontic devices can be worn 24 hours a day to move your jaw back into place as well.
Surgical Options for TMJ
If your TMJ is severe and none of the above treatment options improve your situation, our dentists work closely with oral surgeons in the area to whom we can refer you. Surgical options are reserved from the most severe cases, including the inability to open your jaw, jaw dislocation, extreme jaw deterioration, and when all other treatments have failed.
When should I seek care?
If you’ve been experiencing jaw pain, limited motion in your jaw, and/or clicking of the jaw for an extended amount of time, it’s important to call us immediately.
Our caring & dedicated staff want to help you get the smile you want!
Call us today if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.
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Dr. Mark Krull was patient, friendly and attentive. Him and his staff work seamlessly together for elevated dental experience.
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