Dr. Chris McDonald of McDonald Family Dentistry thoroughly understands the relationship between the teeth, jaw joint and the surrounding muscles and nerves. These systems must be perfectly balanced to allow you to chew, swallow, yawn and speak comfortably.
Problems affecting your jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disrupt this delicate balance, causing pain, limited range of motion and other uncomfortable symptoms.
You have two temporomandibular joints, one on either side of your head in front of your ear. The TMJ controls your ability to move your jaw forward, backward and side to side.
The uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ disorder can interfere with your day-to-day life, including work and hobbies. But with the help of Dr. McDonald, you can overcome TMJ pain and reclaim a better quality of life.
How Do I Know If I Have TMJ Disorder (TMD)?
Is your jaw sore or tender in the mornings, or do you experience frequent headaches when you wake up?
Do you have trouble opening your mouth wide or hear clicking or popping noises when you open and close your mouth?
Do you suffer from unexplained neck, shoulder or ear pain?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a problem with your TMJ.
Causes of TMD?
Common culprits of TMJ disorder include trauma or injury to the teeth or jaw, poor alignment of the teeth or jaw, chronic teeth grinding/clenching, arthritis and other factors.
An evaluation with Dr. McDonald and a discussion of your symptoms can confirm or rule out a problem. TMJ disorder is a tricky problem, but Dr. McDonald can provide real answers and solutions. He is extremely knowledgeable about signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder, and he knows exactly what to look for during an examination. Dr. McDonald may request X-rays, CT scans or MRIs to gain further insight into your condition.
TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
If an evaluation does confirm you have TMJ disorder, a number of treatment approaches can give you relief from your symptoms and lower your risk of dental damage. Dr. McDonald believes in starting with the simplest, least invasive measures before advancing to more complicated and invasive treatments.
Your TMJ treatment plan may involve any of the following:
- Lifestyle changes, such as switching to a soft foods-only diet for a period of time, avoiding chewing gum to reduce pressure on the jaw or applying cold or warm compresses to the jaw
- A custom dental appliance to keep the jaw in a relaxed position during sleep
- Practicing relaxation techniques to minimize jaw tension
- Medication such as pain relievers, muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs
- Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles
Dr. McDonald may also recommend performing restorative dentistry treatments to adjust an uneven bite or reshape teeth affected by TMJ problems.
Contact McDonald Family Dentistry
Relief from the discomfort of TMJ disorder is only a phone call or email away. To discuss symptoms such as jaw pain or tenderness with Dr. McDonald, schedule a consultation by calling or sending us an email.