TMJ Therapy in North Phoenix Scottsdale
Disorders of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) can lead to chronic pain, headaches, and muscle fatigue that extends through the neck, shoulders, and back. Your teeth can suffer as well, due to the excessive muscle tension.
Before you know it, your enamel and dental work starts to wear, leaving you with more than just bothersome headaches, but added trips to the dentist.
At Lernor Family Dental, we work with patients to pinpoint signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder to relieve the chronic pain and tooth wear that accompanies it.
Do You Suffer from Frequent Headaches or Migraines?
Frequent migraine or headache sufferers may learn that their pain isn’t from allergies, foods, or sleeping habits, but from how their jaw joint is functioning.
Because the TMJ ties into muscles that reach throughout the forehead, sides of the face, and down into the shoulders, excessive strain and misalignment to the joint can cause pain to radiate into other areas of the body…manifesting itself as a headache.
Causes of TMJ Disorder (TMD/TMJD)
There are a number of reasons why someone may be suffering from TMJ disorder, but some of the most common include:
Excessive Stress — When we’re fatigued or frustrated, some of us have tendencies to clench our teeth tightly together. This activates the muscles around the TMJ.
Sleep Apnea — If we’re suffering from oxygen deprivation when we sleep, our body naturally begins to panic. The jaws clench together as the airway tries to force air into the lungs.
A Misaligned Bite — Crooked teeth or crossbites can lead to the jaw joints having to function atypically, making small modifications throughout the day as you’re chewing and biting into food. Although this may not seem significant at first, the added strain over the years can lead to serious joint damage.
Trauma or Injury — Something like a football injury or automobile accident can dislocate the jaw and damage the structures inside of the joint.
Atypical Biting Patterns — Your occlusion (bite) may need to be calibrated, to reduce tension points throughout your mouth and thereby your TMJ.
Treatments for Jaw Pain Related to TMJ
Depending on the cause of TMJ disorder, Dr. Lernor will prescribe an appropriate therapy, such as an occlusal splint (mouthpiece), orthodontic treatment, physical therapy, muscle relaxants, or a combination of restorative treatments. In most cases, splint therapy is very effective. Wearing the custom fitted mouthpiece re-trains the muscles to relax, lessening the tension throughout the TMJ, face, neck, and shoulders.
If you suspect that your jaw pain is a type of TMJ disorder, schedule an exam at Lernor Family Dental in North Phoenix Scottsdale to learn more about the types of therapies that we have available.