Dental Options for TMJ Treatment
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, known as TMD, are a common cause of chronic pain, including headache, neck and jaw pain. If you have TMD or believe you may be suffering from the disorder, you can receive qualified diagnosis and TMJ treatment at our dental practice in Kenilworth, IL. Many patients find significant relief from pain and other TMD symptoms with specialized dental treatment, including custom night guards.
Causes of TMD
TMJ disorders affects over three million Americans. The exact cause of TMD is unknown, but there are many potential causes for the uncomfortable symptoms. Injuries to the joint, the jaw, or muscles of the head and neck can lead to TMJ disorders. Arthritis in the joint can also cause pain, as can irregular movement of the disk that cushions the ball and socket of the joint. Patients who grind or clench their teeth at night put pressure on the TMJs and surrounding muscles, and this may cause or exacerbate the condition. In addition, patients who have not received restorative work for damaged teeth can suffer from a misaligned bite that leads to TMD.
The pain and other symptoms of TMJ disorders can be debilitating for many patients. Pain in the head, neck or jaw often increases in times of stress, and is made worse by clenching the teeth. You may also feel pain in your shoulders and tenderness in your face. When opening your mouth, you may also experience discomfort in or near the ear.
In addition to pain, you may be suffering from TMJ disorders if you suffer from:
- Clicking, popping or grating noises when opening and closing the mouth
- Trouble opening the mouth wide (jaw stuck in open or closed position)
- Difficulty chewing food (bite feels misaligned)
- Swelling on one side of the face
- Ringing in the ears
- Toothaches or tooth damage
Many TMJ disorder patients find significant relief from symptoms with appliance therapy. Our patients have had great success, particularly with the custom-fit NTI-tss Plus™ dental appliance.
About TMJ Treatment
Dr. Carpenter can diagnose TMJ disorders and offer effective treatment for patients. At your initial exam, your doctor will take digital x-rays, observe your bite, and check manually for signs of issues in the joint. You will receive a treatment recommendation, which may include appliance therapy or occlusal adjustment.
Many TMJ disorder patients find significant relief from symptoms with appliance therapy. Our patients have had great success particularly, with the custom-fit NTI-tss Plus™ dental appliance. Made of clear, odor-resistant, and specialized material, this night guard reduces joint strain, minimizes the load on the disk, and decreases facial muscle tension. Created to fit snugly to the contours of your teeth, the NTI-tss Plus™ suppresses muscle contraction by almost 70 percent, and also prevents teeth grinding.
If improper bite alignment is indicated, we may recommend bite corrections, or minor adjustments to the teeth to create a more harmonious jaw position. This may include removing sharp tips on the cusps of teeth, minor orthodontics, or placement of a dental crown or other restoration.
Receive Treatment and Relief
If you have been recently diagnosed with a TMJ disorder or are experiencing symptoms, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment and exam. We can work with you to diagnose your exact cause and provide treatment to alleviate painful symptoms.