The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on either side of your jaw. Think of it like a hinge that slides to allow for easy speaking and eating. Sometimes, however, there is dysfunction in the way that these joints and surrounding muscles work which results in noticeable pain. Our Ada, MI, dentists can help ease that discomfort using a custom oral appliance.
A TMJ disorder consists of pain and compromised movement of not only the jaw joints themselves, but the muscles in the area as well. This can lead to difficulty in moving your lower jaw how you’d like and may even cause it to lock up. Your TMJ treatment will depend on the cause of your pain and discomfort. For example, many patients are able to relieve their symptoms by wearing a night guard or bite splint that prevents their upper and lower teeth from making contact. This is especially helpful if the patient grinds or clenches their teeth at night, which exerts pressure on the temporomandibular joints. Our dentists may also recommend you try at-home stress relieving methods, eat softer foods, apply heat to the face, or take over-the-counter medications as necessary.
In general, it’s common for people in the age range of 20-40 years old to experience TMJ dysfunction, with women being more affected than men. Everyday activities like eating a meal or talking with friends can cause discomfort and soreness in the jaw.
You don’t have to endure the pain of a TMJ disorder alone. If you have issues opening and closing your jaw or wake up with headaches caused by nighttime grinding, our dentists in Ada, MI, can create an oral appliance for you. Call Norman Family Dentistry today at (616) 676-9177 to request an appointment.
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