Senior man touches his sore jaw area.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull and acts as a hinge. When the cartilage becomes too worn or damaged, popping and clicking noises will begin as the jaw moves in and out of alignment. A disorder causing pressure on this joint can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
What Are the Causes of TMJ?
TMJ is caused by injury, genetics, misalignment to the teeth or jaw, excessive wear of teeth, excessive gum chewing, stress, anxiety, arthritis, poor posture, or a combination of these factors. People who clench or grind their teeth may have jaw pain, but many who grind may never develop TMJ disorders.
TMJ is typically temporary and pain can be relieved with self-managed care. Surgery can be used as a last resort after other more conservative remedies have failed.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw, mouth or cheek
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Headaches or migraines
- Pain at the base of the tongue
- Shoulder pain
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Cheek or chin pain, tingling or numbness
- Ear pain or ringing, popping or cracking in the ear
- Blurred vision
- Tight, stiff or sore jaw
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking or dislocation of the jaw
How TMJ is Diagnosed
Since there is no specific test to diagnose TMJ, it is especially important to be seen by a dentist who has experience with TMJ. Dr. Kodish has the expertise necessary to diagnose TMJ by reviewing a patient’s symptoms and a thorough medical examination. A correct diagnosis allows him to help create a treatment plan to treat the cause of a patient’s TMJ and relieve any pain.
Neuromuscular dentistry is effective in relieving TMJ symptoms. As a neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Kodish can identify where your jaw muscles should align. He will fit you with an orthotic device to retrain your top and bottom jaw to align correctly. As your jaw becomes retrained, your jaw muscles are allowed to heal and you will find your symptoms disappearing as your jaw functions return to normal.
The prognosis for TMJ is dependent on the cause. If easily treatable, the prognosis is typically excellent. Most people can manage their discomfort with home remedies. When TMJ pain is chronic, long-term treatment or possible surgery may be necessary.
There are some ways to prevent an episode of TMJ:
- Avoid stress, relax
- Eat soft foods
- Avoid gum chewing
- Maintain proper posture
- Use dental splint appliances if recommended by your dentist
- Use safety equipment to prevent jaw fractures when participating in sports
Dr. Gary Kodish
Dr. Gary Kodish is an established dentist who can treat your TMJ jaw disorder symptoms with neuromuscular dentistry. Dr. Kodish can identify where your jaw muscles align and fit them with an orthotic device to retrain your top and bottom jaw to fit together correctly.
Dr. Gary Kodish has the knowledge and experience to treat TMJ successfully. We will provide you with expert dental care in our welcoming office. Dr. Kodish offers financing plans.Dr. Gary Kodish welcomes you to Kodish Dental Group. Here is Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Gary Kodish and his team believe in providing patients with the best treatment available. We support a ‘full care’ dentistry environment, meaning that we will recommend the services needed to bring your smile to a state of optimal health, as well as provide you with a personalized prevention plan to address further concerns. This level of dental care is the dental care we would give members of our own family!
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