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General

Dentistry

TMD Treatment

The temporomandibular joints act as a sliding hinge that allows your lower jaw to freely open and close. When the joints become damaged or inflamed to the point where proper jaw function is impeded, a painful condition called TMJ disorder can arise.

 

Our doctors can diagnose and treat this complex type of temporomandibular disorder. The vast majority of patients are able to enjoy relief from TMJ disorder without the need for surgery.

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Causes of TMJ Disorder


There are multiple potential causes of TMJ disorder. Some patients’ symptoms may be the result of multiple conditions, habits, or genetic factors. This is one reason why diagnosing the causes of TMJ disorder requires the skill of Drs. Amol Shergill and Bonnie Randhawa who have many years of professional experience. Common causes of TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw joint degeneration resulting from arthritis
  • Jawbone misalignment due to misaligned teeth or genetic factors
  • TMJ injury due to trauma
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Risk factors for TMJ disorder include advanced age, arthritis, a history of teeth clenching or jaw injuries, poor teeth alignment, and poorly fitted restorations or prosthetics.




Symptoms of TMJ Disorder


Do you wake up with jaw pain? Or do you have a hard time focusing during the day? TMJ disorder can have many symptoms. Patients who suffer from this condition often experience difficulty fully opening their jaws. There may be a clicking sound or discomfort that occurs when the mouth is fully open. Other common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Tenderness near the jaw
  • Pain that radiates toward either or both ears
  • Difficulty chewing (especially hard foods)
  • Facial pain
  • Locking of the joint when opening or closing the mouth
A normally functioning jaw should open and close with ease and very little sensation. If jaw motion causes any discomfort or audible sounds, let one of our doctors determine if you possibly have TMJ disorder. Early treatment of this condition can lead to better health outcomes and lower treatment costs.




Diagnosis


Our doctors are trained to diagnose the symptoms of TMJ disorder. During your exam, one of our dentists will observe your jaw’s range of motion. Understanding your symptoms and potential triggers in detail is an important part of the diagnosis process. Digital x-rays are often used to examine potential causes of TMJ-related pain.




What Are My Treatment Options?


The majority of patients with TMJ disorder find relief from the condition without the need for surgery. Your customized treatment plan will address the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder. For some patients, adjustments in medications or habits can reduce TMJ disorder symptoms. Jaw misalignment can also result from poorly aligned teeth, which can cause the jaws to improperly align when the mouth is closed. Our office offers traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners to correct issues related to malocclusion. Both treatments require several months to a few years to complete. Beyond correcting jaw alignment issues, orthodontic treatments deliver cosmetic and oral health benefits. Another effective device for treating TMJ disorder is an oral splint, which is a specialized form of mouth guard. The device rests between your teeth and holds the lower jaw in a resting position throughout the night. Oral splints are easy to use and highly effective. Complex cases of TMJ disorder may require injections or surgery. Early diagnosis of TMJ disorder can prevent the need for invasive treatments.





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