Professional TMJ Treatment in St. Louis, MO
TMJ Treatment You Can Count on at West County Dental
If you’ve been experiencing TMJ symptoms, the professional team at West County Dental in St. Louis, MO can help. For many years, our team has expertly served the various dental needs of our patients. Check out our wide range of dental services to see how we can help. One of our specialties is TMJ treatment, and our office offers various treatment options.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. This joint is the sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to the temporal bones of your skull. The temporal bones of your skull are in front of each ear and allow you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. Without these bones, we wouldn’t be able to talk, chew, or yawn. TMJ disorders — a temporomandibular disorder or TMD — cause pain in the jaw joints and muscles that control jaw movement.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
The exact cause of someone’s TMJ disorder is an often-difficult thing to pinpoint, as the pain caused by the disorder may be due to a wide range of factors. These can include genetics, arthritis, jaw injury, and more. Additionally, many people with jaw pain often grind their teeth, which is referred to as bruxism. In contrast, many people grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders. TMJ causes may be difficult to determine, but TMJ pain and discomfort are often easy to relieve and manage with self-care and non-surgical treatments.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?
There is a wide range of symptoms when it comes to TMJ disorders. In addition to pain and discomfort, these disorders can cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth. Sometimes, there is no pain or limitation of movement with this sound or sensation. And in that case, it’s unlikely you will need TMJ treatment. TMJ disorders can affect one or both sides of the face and can be temporary or last for many years. It affects more women than men. Symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw or face when you open your mouth
- Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite that doesn’t fit together
- Jaw locking when you try to open or close your mouth
- Aching facial pain or aching pain in or around the ears
- Clicking sound or grating sensation when you open or close your mouth
- Pain or tenderness in one or both temporomandibular joints
- Swelling on either side of your face
- Pain while chewing or difficulty chewing
- Toothaches, headaches, neck aches, earaches, and shoulder pain
The Treatment Options for TMJ Disorders
In some instances, TMJ disorders may go away on their own, without any necessary treatment. However, if symptoms are persistent, various treatment options are available. Because TMJ disorders can sometimes result from tooth and jaw alignment problems, there are dental treatments that can help, such as braces, which can help with teeth and jaw alignment. If bruxism is the cause of your TMJ disorder, one of our dental professionals might suggest that you wear a custom dental appliance, such as a bite plate or splint. These appliances are used to prevent you from grinding your teeth. Other treatment options include a mouth guard for TMJ, anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxing medications. In some instances, TMJ surgery may be needed.
Contact Us Today For Premier TMJ Treatment
If your jaw pain is constant or it’s difficult to open your mouth normally, it’s probably a good time to consult the professional team at West County Dental. We can discuss your symptoms and determine the best course of TMJ treatment based on your unique needs. You can find everything you need for optimal oral health at our St. Louis, MO location. Reserve a visit with us today!