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TMJ Dysfunction – Diagnosis, Treatment, & Maintenance

August 31, 2017

Man with TMJ dysfunction holding ice bag to his cheekJaw pain, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, clicking and grinding sounds during jaw motion, and chronic migraines – these are all warning signs of TMJ dysfunction. This common oral health condition is painful and can make even the simplest tasks unmanageable. If you notice any of the indicators of TMJ dysfunction, contact Exceptional Smiles by Gregory M. Solich, DDS. Our Colorado Springs dentist and team will relieve pain and put the smile back on your face.

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the jaw to the skull bone. These small connective tissues are actually quite delicate, which means they can be easily strained or damaged. When this occurs, a patient is said to suffer from TMJ dysfunction. In the early stages, this oral health condition can be very subtle and may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. That’s why we screen for warning signs of this condition during every dental checkup.

How Will I Know if I Suffer from TMJ Dysfunction?

As stated, early warning signs of TMJ dysfunction can be very subtle. However, we ask that patients let us know right away if they experience any combination of the following warning signs of TMJ dysfunction:

  • Sharp pain when opening and closing the mouth
  • Throbbing or dull pain when the jaw is at rest
  • Clicking or grinding sounds during jaw movement
  • Impeded movement or complete jaw immobility
  • Chronic headaches
  • Earaches and ringing in ears
  • Radiating head, neck, shoulder, and back pain

Why is Treatment Important?

Without proper treatment for TMJ dysfunction, the condition will become more severe. Over time, you may not even be able to smile without experiencing severe pain. In advanced cases of TMJ dysfunction, patients experience lock jaw, the complete inability to move the jaw. We offer a variety of treatments to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and reposition the jaw. Some of the common solutions we recommend for TMJ sufferers include:

  • In-office treatment with our TENS unit
  • Orthodontic realignment
  • In-office and at-home stretches to realign the jaw
  • Nightguards crafted to allow the jaw to rest in its ideal position
  • Restorative dentistry services to rebuild lost tooth structure

What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Neuromuscular dentistry is a treatment philosophy. It takes the inter working of oral and facial structures into consideration in order to provide the best possible dental care. We use neuromuscular dentistry to treat patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction. We’ve invested in the latest technology, a TENS unit, to diagnose and treat TMJ dysfunction and other issues with the inner workings of the face and smile. TENS sends painless electrical pulses to stop unnecessary muscle movements which can significantly reduce pain for TMJ dysfunction sufferers.

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