Another type of TMJ is when the cushioning discs in the jaw joints become displaced. These joints are supposed to protect the bones from grinding against one another, and once they’re displaced, not only does your jaw begin to function irregularly — popping or clicking, jerking suddenly, and even getting stuck — but you also begin to experience degenerative damage.
But these conditions only really become TMJ when they lead to symptoms outside the jaw. Many of the symptoms are due to the way that muscles in the jaw partner with muscles in the head and neck, and when jaw muscles are tense, they pass tension on to their partner muscles. Other symptoms are due to the closeness of the jaw joints to nerves that run to the head and face as well as the ears.
TMJ treatment can restore proper function to the jaw joint and alleviate symptoms no matter what type of TMJ you have.
TMJ treatment starts with a neuromuscular dentistry diagnosis. Once we have identified the cause of your TMJ symptoms, we can recommend an appropriate TMJ treatment.
For many people, the only TMJ treatment necessary is a relaxing massage. We use TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation), which encourages the muscles to pulse and work themselves into a relaxed state. This can allow you jaw to slip back into place and resume its balance. You may only need this done once, though for most people it’s only effective if done at regular intervals.
Other times, your jaw may need support to resume its balanced configuration. TMJ treatment in this case might be a bite splint, kind of like a sports mouthguard that you wear to hold your jaw in the proper place. You might wear this for most of the day, or maybe just at night.
If your bite splint is effective but you want to get TMJ treatment without using the splint, we might recommend building up your teeth so that they hold your jaw in the proper place themselves without the need for a splint.
In some cases of TMJ where a great deal of degenerative damage has occurred, surgery might be the recommended TMJ treatment.
If you would like to learn more about TMJ treatment in Wilmington, NC, please call (910) 392-6060 or email Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.