TMJ Treatment

Gentle Dental Care

General Dentists, Cosmetic Dentists, & Family Dentists located in Grand Island, NE

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the hinges that enable you to move your jaw, and without them, you wouldn’t be able to eat or talk very well. If you need treatment for a TMJ disorder, Gentle Dental Care in Grand Island, Nebraska, has a skilled dental team providing expert advice and selected TMJ treatments. Call Gentle Dental Care to find out more or to schedule a consultation.

TMJ Treatment Q & A

What is TMJ?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. These ball-and-socket joints in the sides of your head link your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull. The TMJs give your jaws side to side and forward and backward movements, enabling you to chew, speak, and swallow.

The joints are held in place with ligaments and muscles. The ligaments join the bones to each other, and when working with the muscles, allow you to move your jaw freely. If the joint or the muscles and ligaments deteriorate or get damaged, it can lead to the development of a TMJ disorder.

What causes TMJ disorders?

The most frequently occurring causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Arthritis
  • Poor tooth alignment
  • Dislocation
  • Injury
  • Faulty jaw alignment
  • Jaw clenching  
  • Teeth grinding

Stress is a common cause of jaw clenching and teeth grinding, so if you have pain in your jaw, it could be a sign that you need to learn to manage your stress.

To find the cause of your TMJ disorder, your Gentle Dental Care dentist needs to carry out a physical exam to see where the tenderness or pain is coming from. They also check how well you can move your jaw and listen for any noises coming from the jaw, like clicking or popping sounds.

You might also need to have X-rays taken to see your jawbone and the TMJ more clearly.

What is TMJ treatment?

TMJ treatment seeks to relieve your pain, improve jaw function, and address the underlying causes of your TMJ disorder. You might find that your TMJ symptoms lessen if you use simple measures such as:

  • Eating soft food
  • Using heat packs
  • Not chewing gum
  • Not biting your nails
  • Biofeedback

Stress relief can resolve many cases of TMJ pain, so taking up meditation or finding another effective way of relieving your stress could be highly effective in resolving TMJ disorders.

Your doctor might recommend other measures if these initial approaches don’t work, including:

  • Facial exercises
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain-killing medication
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Anti-inflammatories

Gentle Dental Care offers their patients night guards, a highly effective treatment for TMJ disorders. A night guard or stabilization splint is a plastic guard you wear over your teeth when you’re asleep.

To find out more about TMJ treatment, call Gentle Dental Care today. You can schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing pain in your jaw.