Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a serious health issue often undiagnosed for many years. For Waldwick and Teaneck, New Jersey residents who experience this condition, help is available through the care of Bancroft Dobrin Orthodontics. Booking a visit is fast and easy with online or phone options, so don’t delay your treatment today.

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What is TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joint is where your jaw bone connects to your skull. You have two of these sliding hinge joints, one on each side of your face. The temporomandibular joint is a network of bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) develops when conditions prevent normal joint function. Arthritis, traumatic injury, and certain connective tissue diseases can all cause TMJ. The most common cause, however, is nighttime teeth grinding or bruxism.

What are some signs I might have TMJ?

Understanding the symptoms of TMJ can help you know when to seek care for yourself or a loved one. Because symptoms are also common among other health issues, it isn’t always easy to diagnose TMJ.

Some of the indications of damage to the temporomandibular joint include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Aching sensation near your ear
  • Pain while chewing or difficulty chewing normally
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Locking of the joint that prevents opening or closing of the mouth

If you experience these changes, a diagnostic assessment can determine if you have TMJ.

Are there treatments that can help with TMJ?

There are several ways to treat temporomandibular joint disorder. Your orthodontist begins by gathering information about your symptoms, examining the joint, and reviewing your digital imaging.

An oral appliance is a primary treatment option. These devices are custom-made to create an ideal fit and cover the surfaces of your teeth while you sleep. Also called a night guard, an oral appliance is a barrier between your upper and lower teeth to prevent grinding while you sleep.

Oral appliances can also make minor changes in how you hold your jaw at night, reducing pressure on your temporomandibular joint. Medications might also play a role in your treatment plan, and help to reduce pain and relax the muscles in your jaw. In addition, Botox® injections can relax muscle tightness. In rare cases, surgical intervention is the only way to get complete relief.

When you’re ready to learn more about your options, call Bancroft Dobrin Orthodontics to make an appointment for a consultation. Online booking is also a quick and easy option.