TMJ Disorder Specialist In Houston
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the two joints connecting the jawbone to the skull. For that reason, TMJ disorders’ issues will be related to your jaw joint. Additionally, their symptoms include pain or “clicking” sounds as the joints of the jaw and chewing muscles fail to work together correctly. Timely diagnosis and treatment are necessary as some TMJ problems may lead to severe complications. Unlike in the past, these issues can now be more easily diagnosed and treated. If you live in Houston and are looking for a TMJ Disorder specialist, contact our office today!
TMJ treatment requires time to become effective as TMJ DISORDERS cannot be resolved entirely with just one treatment. Our oral surgeon will make sure you have a healthier and comfortable jaw.
Do You Have Trouble With Your Jaw?
TMJ disorders grow due to multiple factors. For example, clenching or grinding your teeth puts stress on your TM joint and tightens your jaw muscles. Furthermore, you may have an injured jaw joint due to a wound or infection. Additionally, injuries and arthritis can also ruin your joint directly, stretch it, or tear your muscle ligaments. Consequently, the disk made of cartilage, which functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of place. Some effects of this may include a misaligned bite, pain, and “clicking” sound when you open your mouth.
When Determining If You Have A TMJ Disorder, ask yourself:
- Do you grind or clench your teeth?
- Does your head or neck often hurt?
- Do your clenching and pain worsen under stress?
- Is it painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
- Does the pain worsen when you clench your teeth?
- Do you have a neck, head, or jaw injury?
- Do you find the muscles around your jaws stiff when you wake up?
- Does using your front teeth cause any pain?
- Do you have sensitive, loose, broken, or worn out teeth?
If you had more than one “yes,” then it is likely that you have a TMJ disorder.
Different treatment procedures can be used to improve the functionality of your jaw. If a TMJ disorder is diagnosed, a suitable course of treatment will be planned. Note that if you want to achieve maximum results out of your treatment, you will have to combine exclusive self-care with professional care.
The first prime objective is to relieve joint pain and muscle spasms. Muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve any discomfort you may have. Another option is to inject steroids directly into your joints to reduce pain and inflammation. You can also include some self-care treatments such as:
- Resting your jaw
- Eating soft foods
- Applying ice and heat
- Exercising your jaw
- Practicing good posture
There are several methods to relieve stress, such as bio feedback, physical therapy, or a dental guard. A dental guard (or nightguard) is a temporary, clear plastic appliance that fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby comforting your muscles and decreasing aches. Different types of appliances are used for various purposes. For example, a mouth guard helps you discontinue gritting or grinding and decreases muscle tension at night while shielding your cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, aids in disk repositioning, and relieves pressure on some parts of your jaw. It is important to note that you can wear it for the whole day and night to help your jaw heal. Additionally, an orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day, or just at night, for proper jaw positioning.
What About Bite Correction or Surgery?
TMJ disorders can sometimes trigger trouble with how your teeth fit together. The recommended treatments are bite adjustment (equilibration), restorative dental work, or orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction. Some severe cases may require surgical options like arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring. TMJ surgery is not recommended unless the jaw can’t open, it’s non-reducible and dislocated, or the patient’s appliance treatment was unsuccessful.
To learn more about TMJ disorders or schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact our Houston office today by calling us at (281) 251-7770.