TMJ disorder, also called TMD, is a common yet misunderstood condition that affects millions of Americans. It affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), which are what enable your jaw to open and close, as well as move side-to-side and front-to-back when you are eating and speaking. At Paxton Dental Care, patients in the Paxton, MA area can obtain TMJ appliances to relieve the pain and symptoms associated with the condition.
Scott Siemens and his staff make everything seem easy. Pain free and quick. Can’t say enough about everyone there. Highly recommend!
What is TMJ disorder and what are its symptoms?
TMJ disorder is a broad term that encompasses a variety of issues that can occur when the TMJs become inflamed, misaligned, or cause pain. TMJ disorder is a condition that can exhibit a wide variety of symptoms that are not necessarily clearly related to the joint, which makes it difficult for some patients to obtain a correct diagnosis. Symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from TMJ disorder include:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking, popping, or grinding in the jaw
- Pain around the ears
- Pain while eating
- A locked jaw, either in the open or closed position
Diagnosing TMJ disorder
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can have a variety of underlying causes that determine the appropriate treatment for your individual needs, so it is important to work with a skilled and experienced professional like Dr. Siemen to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
Dr. Siemen listens to your symptoms and performs a thorough evaluation to obtain a comprehensive understanding of what is occurring in your joint. In addition to observing how your jaw moves, identifying areas of pain, and checking your range of motion, Dr. Siemen may take dental x-rays or cone beam CT images to get a complete, accurate picture of what is happening in the joint area. A cone beam CT scan uses a low-dose radiation to show all of your oral structures in much greater detail than typical 2-dimensional x-rays, including detailed images of your joints, nerves, teeth, sinuses, muscles, and other soft tissues, in addition to bone density information. Paxton Dental Care is one of the only practices in the area that is equipped with this technology, enabling Dr. Siemen to effectively diagnose TMJ disorder and plan out your treatment with precision for the best end results.
TMJ appliances relieve pain
Dr. Scott Siemen is experienced at working with patients to learn about their symptoms and identify the underlying cause for their pain. In many cases, a dental appliance for TMJ is all that is needed to resolve symptoms and get you back to feeling like yourself again.
- For patients who suffer from bruxism (tooth clenching and grinding) that is causing TMJ symptoms, a teeth grinding guard will help alleviate the pressure that is being placed on the joints while you sleep.
- Other patients may benefit from a TMJ appliance, which is a stabilization splint that fits over either your lower or upper teeth and prevents contact between the teeth and positions the teeth in an optimal position to relieve stress on the joint. Dr. Siemen will advise you on how often to wear it for your specific oral health needs – some patients need to wear them 24 hours a day, whereas others only need to wear them at night.
In both cases, the oral appliance is made from a comfortable material that is custom-designed to fit your mouth.
To learn more about TMJ appliances that might help you, call Paxton Dental Care at (508) 557-2400 today!