About Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
Positioned on each side of the face, the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the structures that allow you to open and close your jaw. The TMJ or muscles surrounding these joints become injured or damaged in some patients, resulting in an often uncomfortable condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). At Byers Station Dental, our general dentists utilize advanced techniques to diagnose TMD, and refer out to a TMJ specialist for treatment to alleviate pain and enhance oral function. Though TMJ treatment varies according to individual needs, some of the options may include oral appliances (night guards), bite adjustment, dental restorations, or orthodontic solutions. If you have jaw pain, hear sounds when you open your mouth, or are noticing other symptoms of TMD, please schedule a consultation at our Chester Springs, PA facility to explore your TMJ treatment options.
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Do I Need TMJ Treatment?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction could be caused by an injury to the jaw, years of teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that might lead to TMD include a tumor in the TMJ or arthritis. While the cause of TMD is uncertain in some cases, our dentists can still diagnose TMJ issues. The most common signs and symptoms of TMD include:
- TMJ pain or jaw tenderness
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Earaches or tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Spasms in the facial muscles
- Restricted jaw movement
- Stiffness or rigidity in the jaw
- Jaw clicking, cracking, or popping upon opening
How Is TMD Treated?
To diagnose TMD, our dentists will examine your jaw joints and listen to your concerns. During the exam, we will evaluate how your jaw moves, search for indicators of misalignment, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and other contributing factors, and palpate the muscles surrounding your TMJ. Advanced digital images and a bite analysis may be performed to look for underlying causes that may help determine the ideal treatment method for your needs. After we have collected this information, our team will discuss the TMJ treatment options available at Byers Station Dental, which may include a night guard appliance, an occlusal adjustment, teeth straightening, or restorative dentistry options. Our dentists are able to diagnose TMD, but would likely refer out to a TMJ specialist for treatment, especially for complex cases.
Maintaining TMJ Health
Along with procedures to address the underlying cause of your TMD, our dentists may suggest palliative strategies to alleviate TMJ pain and other symptoms on your own. This may include eating a soft food diet, applying hot and cold compresses to your jaw, and avoiding gum chewing and other parafunctional habits. Our dentists may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles or prescribe medication to relax your muscles (and to relieve pain, nervousness, or inflammation). We may schedule follow-up visits for you at our Chester Springs, PA office so our team can monitor your TMJ treatment results, overall comfort, and jaw joint health.
Will Insurance Cover TMJ Treatment?
Dental insurance coverage for TMJ treatments and diagnostic procedures may vary by provider and plan. Our practice is an in-network provider with a number of major insurance plans and will advocate on your behalf to help maximize your insurance coverage. If you have out-of-pocket costs for your TMD care, we will be happy to explain the convenient payment options accepted at Byers Station Dental and help you select the method right for your needs.
Relieve TMJ Pain With Quality Care
Temporomandibular joint pain can make it troublesome to eat, talk, and enjoy your day-to-day life. Since there are a number of potential causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, we invite you to schedule an appointment at Byers Station Dental in Chester Springs, PA. Our dentists and team are dedicated to providing jaw pain relief and can help you explore your options for care.