What Are the Dental Problems That Cause TMJ Pain?
If you are concerned about TMJ causing you dental problems, talk to our specialists at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI.
The temporomandibular joints are some of the most complex joints in the human body, enabling us with ability to talk, bite, and sting. They provide the jaw with a sliding hinge action, which is more complex than most joints as they typically only enable motion in one direction. There are several kinds of dental problems that can lead to the disorder of this joint, including misaligned bites, such as under and overbites. Fortunately, TMJ disorders are highly treatable and often respond positively to treatment, especially when treated early on.
What dental issues cause TMJ?
Causes of TMJ disorders vary from person to person and can include:
- Strain — If the jaw joints become overworked or the muscles become excessively strained, a TMJ disorder can manifest. In certain cases this strain could stem from habitually grinding or clenching teeth, clinically known as bruxism.
- Trauma — Sustaining a traumatic injury to the jaw, head or neck can affect the form and function of the temporomandibular joint and may result in a TMJ disorder. Trauma also can cause the jaw joints’ disks to displace, another etiology for TMJ disorder.
- Arthritis — When arthritis affects the temporomandibular joint or its cartilage, a TMJ disorder may develop. This can cause pain, inflammation, tenderness, and a limited range of motion in the jaw joint, which requires professional treatment.
In addition to the aforementioned causes, TMJ disorder may also be caused by:
- A misaligned or dislocated TMJ
- Teeth damage from clenching or grinding teeth
- Misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite
Is TMJ a dental condition?
TMJ refers to the two temporomandibular joints that connect the jaw to the skull. Disorders affecting these joints are called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which can be caused by both medical and dental conditions. Since TMJ disorders affect the teeth and jaw—and are most commonly treated by dentists—they are considered a dental condition. With appropriate treatment, dentists can help patients find relief from their TMJ disorder and provide a natural form and function for their jaw joint.
Is there any dental treatment for TMJ pain?
There are many different dental treatments for TMJ pain, which range from oral appliances to orthodontic treatments. These include:
- TENS — Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive therapeutic treatment for correcting misaligned bites. It works by retraining the jaw muscles to help find the best resting position.
- Long-Term Orthotics — Dental orthotics are highly beneficial devices custom-fitted for each patient. They help prevent teeth grinding, allow the airflow to remain unobstructed and prevent the jaw from straying from its natural position.
- Orthodontic Treatment — There are several kinds of orthodontic treatments, such as braces, that focus on straightening the teeth and repositioning the jaw to align properly. These treatments have been used for several decades and have proven to be highly effective when treating TMJ disorders.
- Neuromuscular Dentures — A step above conventional dentures, neuromuscular dentures are designed to fit in the mouth and accommodate the nerves, muscles, and soft tissues of the jaw. They go above and beyond providing teeth for functional purposes, but also help the jaw find the best position to reduce discomfort.
At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we are dedicated to providing you with all of your TMJ-related needs. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating dysfunctions with the temporomandibular joint and can help you restore form and function. Call us today to book an appointment. We look forward to serving you!