Of the many oral complications, such as tooth decay and gum disease, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder is a common occurrence that isn't alleviated with your typical dental procedures. While it won't affect your oral health, it can cause intense pain and be quite debilitating when it comes to completing day-to-day tasks. Also called TMJ dysfunction, this painful disorder affects patients of all ages, mainly causing discomfort in the joint and surrounding muscles.
Fortunately for those who suffer from TMJ disorder, there are a variety of treatments, technology, and remedies aimed to alleviate symptoms and reduce pain, and Jason L Downey DDS in Las Vegas has these solutions! While Dr. Downey strives to keep his patients' oral health up to par, he also offers dental services for a variety of oral complications, like sleep apnea! Having said that, we here at the office of Dr. Downey would love to share some helpful information on TMJ disorder treatment with our Las Vegas and Summerlin residents. First, let's take a closer look at the disorder in general.
Symptoms and Causes of TMJ Disorder
Before we get into the symptoms and causes of TMJ disorder, let us explain a little about the joint itself. The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the skull, right around the front of your ears. The joint allows the jaw to move up and down and side to side, as with talking and chewing. When TMJ disorder, or TMD, becomes a problem, the pain in this area can be unbearable. Symptoms for TMJ disorder are provided below:
- Pain/tenderness in the jaw or joints
- Aching in and/or around the ear
- Pain when chewing or yawning
- Aches in the face
- Joint locking
- Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing mouth
- Swelling on the sides of your face
While dentists have had a difficult time determining the exact cause of TMJ disorder, there are plenty of factors that are linked to the pain and discomfort. Take a look at the list below:
- Grinding (bruxism) or clenching your teeth, as this puts excessive pressure on the joint.
- Movement within the disc between the ball and socket in the TMJ.
- Stress, as this causes your facial and jaw muscles to tighten (like clenching and grinding the teeth).
- Physical trauma
Though the exact cause of TMJ disorder is still somewhat speculated, there is, of course, TMJ disorder treatment, and Dr. Jason L. Downey can help!
TMJ Disorder Treatment
As far as TMJ disorder treatment goes, most practices are done at home, but Dr. Downey can still help. Here at our office, we offer patients the NTI-tss, which is a device designed to alleviate symptoms of the disorder. The device is a small, clear mouth piece that lies between your top and bottom teeth to reduce the pressure from teeth grinding and clenching, as this is most often a problem while we sleep. Since bruxism and clenching are two common causes of TMJ disorder, this treatment is great for alleviating pain.
Of course, you can also try home treatment for TMJ on your own to reduce the pain and discomfort. We've provided a few tips to try at home, take a look:
- Alternate between applying hot and cold packs to the face and temple area.
- Eat softer foods that don't call for heavy chewing and tearing.
- Try taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
- Avoid yawning too wide or any extreme movements of the jaw.
Suffering from TMJ Disorder? Call Dr. Downey Today!
As you can see, while TMJ disorder can be a painful and uncomfortable issue, there are plenty of treatments that you can practice at home. However, the splints offered by Dr. Downey may be just what you need to alleviate the pain and reduce stress on the joint and surrounding muscles.
No matter the oral issue, Dr. Downey can help. If you're experiencing any type of dental or oral complication, be sure to contact our office today. You can reach us at 702-871-4903 or contact us here.