TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders refer to a family of problems that can affect the jaw joint. Symptoms of TMJ disorders can range from mild to quite severe and may encompass anything from a “clicking” sound to chronic pain. Dr. Bennett has ample experience assessing TMJ disorders and guiding patients through effective treatment options, which can range from simple lifestyle changes to jaw surgery. It is our pleasure to provide long-lasting TMJ relief to patients in Chesterton, IN.
Possible Causes of TMJ Disorders?
There is no single cause for TMJ disorders. Rather, there are a number of different factors that may contribute to TMJ symptoms. Some of the most common examples include:
- If you habitually clench your jaw or grind your teeth, it may stress and damage the TMJ joint and cause chronic muscle inflammation.
- TMJ symptoms may also emerge as the result of a jaw injury or disease.
- Arthritis and related conditions can directly damage the joint or tear the surrounding ligaments.
While the underlying causes of TMJ disorder can vary, the team at Glacial Sands will work to find treatments that can potentially provide lasting relief.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
TMJ disorders can lead to a full range of symptoms. Some of the most common ones include:
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
- Stiff, sore muscles around the jaw
- Chronic headaches and/or neck aches
- Clicking, popping, or grating when the mouth opens
- Pain caused by eating, yawning, or opening the mouth
- Teeth that no longer touch when biting
- Teeth that are worn down, broken, or sensitive to temperature
If patients experience any of these symptoms, they may need to be assessed for TMJ disorders.
TMJ Surgery Overview
Depending on the nature and extent of the TMJ disorder, there are different treatment options that may be recommended. Surgical intervention is typically a last resort and is only recommended for advanced TMJ disease that is unresponsive to other treatments.
A majority of TMJ patients do not require corrective jaw surgery to address their symptoms.
The simplest and most conservative treatments involve minor lifestyle changes. Some patients may need to make some modest changes to their diet or try hot/cold massages. For patients whose TMJ symptoms are the result of tooth grinding or jaw clenching, wearing a night guard may be all that it takes. Additionally, we often refer patients for physical therapy and/or acupuncture, which is often sufficient for eliminating TMJ pain and other symptoms.
If these more modest treatments do not work, we may also recommend injections of neurotoxins (think BOTOX®), which help relax the muscles surrounding the jaw. This can ease clenching and minimize pain.
When these treatments prove insufficient, we may need to consider surgery as the best way to eliminate the symptoms of TMJ disorders.
Our Advanced Technology
One thing that distinguishes our approach to TMJ treatment is the use of world-class technology. In particular, our practice employs advanced 3-D imaging, allowing us to get a full view of the jaw as well as the teeth.
3-D imaging helps ensure accurate assessments of TMJ disorders, and also provides guidance for any surgical interventions. We are pleased to employ best-in-class technologies to optimize the patient experience and improve clinical outcomes.
Excellence in TMJ Treatment in Chesterton, IN
Living with TMJ disorders can be very difficult. Thankfully, TMJ does not need to be a lifelong affliction. There are safe, proven, effective treatments available, often allowing you to experience relief without the need for surgery. Find out more about TMJ treatments by scheduling a consultation appointment in Chesterton, IN.