TMJ Disorders Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
By Patrick Casey on November 30, 2011
At Smile Montreal, we don’t limit dental care to the maintenance and treatment of the teeth, gums, and underlying bone. We also treat the muscles and joints of the jaw. Every time a person chews, talks, or swallows, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is used, making it one of the most frequently used joints in the entire body. If the muscles and joints of the jaw are not working properly, it can result in pain, difficulty eating, headaches, and a range of other problems. Montreal cosmetic dentist Patrick Casey is trained to treat TMJ disorders and uses neuromuscular dentistry techniques to properly align the jaws.
TMJ Disorder Causes
TMJ disorders can be caused by:
- Improper alignment of the jaw
- Disk erosion
- Habitual clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
TMJ pain is often described as an aching feeling at or near the jawbones, including the ear. However, some of our Montreal TMJ patients report little to no pain, but still suffer from jaw problems.
Other possible symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Dizziness and vision problems
- Ear pain
- Decreased hearing
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
- Migraine and/or chronic headaches
- Jaw muscle stiffness
- Limited mobility or locking of the jaw
- Painful clicking, grating, or popping in the jaw joint
- A change in the alignment of the teeth
If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, and have been unable to get a proper diagnosis, then chances are you may be suffering from TMJ disorder. Since TMJ disorder covers multiple health-care fields, it is often difficult to get an accurate diagnosis.
At Smile Montreal, we offer thorough TMJ examinations so our team can formulate an effective treatment plan that is unique to each patient and will reduce or eliminate jaw pressure and tension. We use the i-CAT® system to analyze patients' bites. The i-CAT® system produces precise measurements of the jaw and a 3-D image of the temporomandibular joint, allowing Dr. Casey to pinpoint the alignment issues that cause the patient's specific symptoms. Dr. Casey will determine the optimal alignment and resting position of the jaw, and then recommend the treatment plan that will balance the joints, muscles, and teeth.
TMJ Disorder Treatments
For a disorder with so many symptoms, the solutions and treatments cover a broad spectrum as well. TMJ disorder treatment options include:
- Soft foods: Soft foods can be eaten to temporarily reduce stress on the temporomandibular joint
- Mouth guards or night guards: Some patients have found relief with a mouth guard
- Bite realignment: This can include dental restorations to replace missing teeth, replacement of old dental fillings or crowns, and correction of the patient's bite
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory, pain, and muscle relaxant medication can be used to treat TMJ pain
- BOTOX Cosmetic: BOTOX injections temporarily paralyze the muscles that cause jaw tension
Typically, a combination of treatments is used to treat temporomandibular joint disorders. To undergo a comprehensive TMJ analysis with Dr. Casey, contact Smile Montreal today.
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“I felt more like I was talking to a friend than I was to a dentist.” Nancy Lanzolla, Former Patient