TMJ (Temporamandibular Joint)

a patient in need of TMJ treatment from State Street Dental
Your mouth has many components that all work together to enable you to bite, chew, speak, and express a wide array of emotions. One of these components is the temporomandibular joints, also called the TMJ. When these joints are healthy, they work without you even knowing it. However, there are many different issues that can impact their health, making even basic movements difficult and painful. State Street Dental can help.

What are the TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joints, also simply called the TMJ, are the two joints located on each side of your face where the mandible meets the skull. These ball and socket joints allow you to open and close your mouth, as well as move your mandible from side to side. A disc in the joints absorbs the impact of the pressures placed on them. When these joints are healthy, you can eat, speak, and simply open your mouth with ease.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is a term that refers to a number of different issues that affect the health and functioning of your TMJ. When you have TMJ disorder, basic movements of your mouth can become difficult, even painful. TMJ disorder can be caused by:
•  Bruxism.
•  Facial trauma.
•  Jaw dislocation.
•  Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

When to See a Dentist

It might not be immediately apparent that you have an issue with your TMJ. Symptoms often start mild, barely noticeable. Over time, however, they can continue to worsen, making any jaw movements difficult and painful. Common symptoms include:
•  Pain in your TMJ.
•  Facial pain near the joints.
•  Difficulty eating or speaking.
•  Temporary lockjaw.
•  Grinding, clicking, or popping in your joints.
•  Chronic headaches or earaches.

When you notice symptoms of TMJ disorder, it is important that you schedule an appointment right away. During your appointment, we will perform a thorough oral examination. First, we discuss your symptoms. We assess the alignment of your teeth and jaws. Your teeth are looked over for signs of uneven or excessive wear. We check to see how wide you can open your mouth. X-rays or other images are taken so that we can check the hidden areas of your mouth. Once we are able to diagnose TMJ disorder and its root cause, we can then recommend treatment.

How is TMJ Disorder Treated?

There are several different types of treatments that can be used to treat TMJ disorder. The treatment you receive will depend upon the cause and the severity. Treatments include:
•  Home care. For mild sleep apnea, relief can be found with home remedies such as over the counter pain relievers, ice or heat packs, or practicing stress relief.
•  A night guard. A custom night guard is a device worn in your mouth while you sleep. Commonly used to treat bruxism, this device functions to absorb the impact of grinding and clenching.
•  Botox. Botox is another treatment for bruxism that works to weaken the muscles that cause grinding and clenching to occur.
•  Orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment corrects the alignment of your teeth, which can then alleviate symptoms related to TMJ disorder.
•  Oral surgery. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended.

Treating TMJ disorder not only improves the functioning of your mouth, it can also greatly improve your oral health and your quality of life. If you suspect that you have TMJ disorder, call State Street Dental today at (971) 332-3020 to schedule your consultation.

Get In Touch!

(971) 332-3020


1800 State St.
Salem, OR 97301-4343

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