Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can often be treated with customized splints from Redlands Family Dentistry. The splints realign the way a patient's jaw rests so they can find relief from pain, discomfort, teeth grinding, and other symptoms caused by TMJ disorder. Dr. Frederick Hoffer and his associates provide complete consultations for each patient. After they obtain a clear understanding of a person’s bite, jaw structure, and dental alignment, they can treat the underlying causes of the condition for lasting relief. If you think you could benefit from TMJ disorder treatment, reach out to Redlands Family Dentistry to schedule your evaluation.
Understanding the Effects of TMJ Disorder
Your TMJs are the hinged joints on either side of your jaw. You use these joints almost constantly throughout the day. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw when you are stressed, you place even more pressure on these areas. As a result, the surrounding tissues can become inflamed. Alternatively, the soft discs inside the joints may slip out of place or become displaced due to trauma. If you suffer from TMJ disorder, you may experience a range of symptoms. Patients will commonly complain of:
- Jaw and facial pain
- Chronic headaches
- Ear pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- A popping noise when you open or close your mouth
- Jaw stiffness
Evaluation and Diagnosis
If you exhibit the symptoms of TMJ disorder, we will conduct a full examination to determine the extent of your condition. Your dentist will take a computed tomography (CT) scan to generate a 3-D map of your jaw. These images will reveal inflammation and structural damage, as well as your bite alignment. Additionally, your dentist will create models of your mouth to study how your teeth and jaw fit together. Based on this information, he or she can determine the optimal treatment for your needs.
Treatment for TMJ Disorder
In most cases, our dentists will treat TMJ disorder using a custom-designed oral splint. These devices will fit over your front teeth to realign your jaw, balance your bite, and alleviate tight muscles. Typically, you will only need to wear your splint at night. Over time, the mouthpiece will gradually allow your jaw to relax into a more natural position.
Throughout your treatment, your dentist will use CT scans to evaluate your progress. If you do not respond to treatment with oral splints, you may require additional care. For example, if you have misaligned teeth, you may unconsciously grind your jaw trying to bring your teeth into the correct positions. Misalignment can also affect the balance of your bite. In this case, traditional braces or Invisalign® may be the right solution. Alternatively, if you have missing or severely worn teeth, this can also put an uneven amount of pressure on your jaw. Restorative treatments, such as implants or crowns, can reduce your jaw pain and improve your overall oral health. In rare cases, you may require surgery. If needed, our dentists can refer you to a specialist for treatment.
Contact Our Office
If you suffer from TMJ disorder, lasting relief could be an appointment away. Contact Redlands Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment with one of outstanding practitioners.