TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, often referred to simply as TMJ, is an extremely painful condition that causes problems with talking, eating, and speaking. With this condition, the joint that controls jaw movement does not function properly and fails to move smoothly, creating grinding or cracking noises. Sometimes, braces can provide relief for TMJ sufferers. Our West Des Moines orthodontist explains more below.
What Is TMJ Dysfunction?
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is a dysfunction of the joint that connects the upper and lower jaw. It can cause pain when opening and closing the mouth. Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Locking of the jaw
- Grinding, cracking, or popping noises from the joint
- Pain with chewing
- Teeth clenching
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from TMJ dysfunction.
What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?
Some of the most common causes of TMJ are stress and bite misalignment. An extreme amount of pressure is exerted on the temporomandibular joint as you subconsciously grind and clench your teeth to try and force them together, causing pain and other complications. Thankfully, there are simple steps we can take to treat this condition and give you symptom relief.
Types of Treatment
Without treatment, TMJ dysfunction can cause you to grind your teeth down, wear out the temporomandibular joint, or experience long-term pain when going about daily activities. These negative effects only worsen over time, so it is beneficial to treat it as soon as possible.
Once our orthodontist has evaluated you for TMJ dysfunction, we will outline a treatment plan for your braces and employ them as TMJ treatment to correct the misaligned bite. Bite correction can provide relief for TMJ sufferers! Other treatment for this condition will involve lessening stress on the joint by eating soft foods, managing stress in your daily life, and using pain relief medications to manage TMJ pain.
Additionally, special mouthguards can be made to prevent the damage caused by teeth clenching and grinding.
Contact Our West Des Moines Orthodontist Today To Find Out More About TMJ Treatment!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Stork Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontist office in West Des Moines by clicking here or by calling 515.608.8830.