TMJ OrthodonticsFresno, CA
If you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), then we can help with our orthodontic treatment. If there is jaw pain that only seems to get worse over time, then TMJ treatment can help to ease it and other related symptoms. TMJ orthodontics treatment involves using a customized oral appliance to help position the teeth and jaw of the patient.
TMJ orthodontics treatment is available at Mark Lowe D.D.S. Orthodontics in Fresno and the surrounding area. Our goal is to treat the source of the pain so patients can achieve lasting relief. TMJ can cause a variety of other issues if left untreated, so visit our office as soon as possible.
Call us today and schedule an appointment to begin the treatment process.
TMJ Orthodontics Overview
Some people realize they have TMJ when they feel a grating sensation or hear a clicking sound when opening their mouths. These signs generally occur during the early stages of TMJ. As the condition progresses, patients may also experience symptoms such as:
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Pain at the temporomandibular joints
- Pain around one or both ears
- Facial pain
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Chronic headaches
Our orthodontic treatment alleviates these symptoms and prevents them from getting worse. The causes and symptoms of TMJ can vary per patient, as well.
Causes of TMJ
People have two temporomandibular joints. These joints connect the skull and the jawbone. A disc sits between the ball and the socket. The disc allows the jaw to open comfortably. People receive the TMJ diagnosis when the disc, bones, ligaments, or muscles are damaged.
The damage can be due to teeth grinding, tooth and jaw alignment issues, dislocation, arthritis, or an injury. If the patient knows a possible cause, it can help us to customize the treatment. However, the patient may not always realize they are causing the source of the pain. One such way is in patients who grind their teeth while asleep and do not have control over it.
The TMJ Orthodontic Treatment Process
The first step for this process is to examine the patient's overall condition, oral health, medical history, and any other pertinent factors. With this information, we will be able to customize the treatment and discern if the patient is a candidate for orthodontic TMJ treatment.
This examination will include examining the patient's bite, tooth alignment, jaw, neck, and head. We will also take a mold and measurements of the patient's jaw. One treatment option is TMJ splints, which can change the position of the teeth and stabilize the temporomandibular joints. In most cases, patients will wear the splints each night, while asleep.
While mouthguards cannot move teeth in the same way that splints do, they can help to prevent the patient from grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw. Grinding one's teeth at night is known as bruxism and can cause frequent jaw pain throughout the day.
Following the initial treatment appointment, the patient may need to schedule follow-up appointments with us. These appointments will allow us to check up on the patient and determine if the treatment is helping relieve pain. If not, we may make adjustments to the treatment.
Seek treatment for TMJ
TMJ can impact your quality of life and prevent you from living it to the fullest. Instead of living with the pain, call us at 559-467-1235 to schedule an appointment today. Our orthodontist in Fresno will evaluate your condition and provide treatment. That treatment could include an oral appliance such as a splint, mouthguard, or braces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does TMJ treatment correct the underlying issue?
TMJ treatments are designed to treat the issue that caused the disorder. TMJ is often due to jaw misalignment or bite issues. When the teeth and jaw are in the wrong position, it places stress on the joint. TMJ treatments address positioning and grinding problems.
Do patients have to wear mouthguards and splints forever?
Patients might have to continue wearing mouthguards and dental splints since they can correct alignment issues. In general, the amount of time a patient wears the device can go for several months or longer. However, once the jaw is in the proper place, patients may be able to stop.
How long does it take to get relief from TMJ symptoms?
Some patients notice some discomfort right after getting braces, splints, or mouthguards. Patients experience that because the appliances move the jaws and teeth. However, the discomfort subsides within days. People generally notice relief from symptoms within the first week and are free of symptoms by six months.
What should patients bring to the first TMJ orthodontics appointment?
Patients who have diagnostic tests related to the condition should bring them to the first appointment. Patients should also bring a list of medications used to treat TMJ. Patients are also encouraged to bring a list of questions.
Will the TMJ treatment affect my oral health routine?
In most cases, no. However, you may need to rinse the device each night and morning. We will go over the proper care techniques during the appointment. If you damage either type of device, it is essential to call us immediately for repairs.
What else can patients do to relieve TMJ symptoms?
Along with receiving treatment from an orthodontist, patients can alleviate the symptoms with behavior modification. Patients should alleviate stress to reduce clenching. Patients should also avoid chewing gum. Eating soft foods can relieve symptoms, as well.
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