Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a misalignment of your jaw joint that causes many adverse symptoms, pain being the most prominent. Many cases of TMJ go away on their own because they’re situational, but other times you’ll need intervention from a TMJ dentist.
Your TMJ might be from an injury to your jaw, inflammation from grinding, a degenerative bone disease, or muscle overuse. Whatever the cause, treating your TMJ will improve your physical health, mental health, and life overall.
Watch for TMJ Symptoms
The first step in treating TMJ is keeping an eye out for the symptoms and finding a neuromuscular dentist to perform a consultation and exam. Watch for
- Facial, jaw, or neck pain
- Migraines or chronic headaches
- Sore, loose, worn down, sensitive or cracked teeth
- Stiffness or soreness in the upper body, including the neck, back, and shoulders
- Ringing in the ears or ear congestion
- Numbness in the fingers or tingling in the fingertips
- Limited jaw movement, locking of the jaw, clicking of the jaw, or limited mouth opening
- Jaw clenching or grinding
If you experience multiple of these symptoms, if any of them are very severe, or they’ve persisted for 10 days or more, it’s time to find a dentist to treat your pain.
Don’t try to close or open your jaw yourself if it locks. Seek professional help.
Finding a TMJ Dentist
Finding someone to treat your TMJ can seem confusing, but the most important thing to remember is that you want to see a dentist trained in neuromuscular dentistry. Neuromuscular dentistry focuses on your teeth, muscles, and jaw joint as parts of a whole. They’re specially trained to treat TMJ.
Look for advanced schooling on the dentist’s bio like Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) and reviews to prove credibility.
The next step in treating TMJ is to obtain a diagnosis. In Wilmington, neuromuscular dentist Dr. Michael Rosen will track your jaw movement as well as any jaw sounds using advanced techniques and technologies. This data will allow him to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
TENS Unit stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It sends gentle electrical pulses into your jaw joint that allow the muscles and skeletal system to relax fully. With your jaw relaxed, we’ll know its proper resting position and determine if it’s out of alignment.
We can also use this for physical therapy to relieve pain, but it won’t fix it. After finding your jaw’s natural resting position, we’ll use that information to create a bite splint or orthotic.
The next step in your TMJ treatment will be wearing an orthotic that holds your jaw in the correct position. You’ll wear it 24/7 to determine if your symptoms begin to fade and go away completely. You’ll need to track your symptoms during this time, and we’ll make adjustments as necessary.
Your treatment path diverges at this point. If your symptoms disappear with the orthotic, you can choose to either continue wearing it only at night or move on to the next phase of treatment. Choosing to continue with the orthotic is the end of the line for people with less severe TMJ because you’ll become accustomed to holding your jaw in the correct position without the splint during the day. However, more severe cases will need to move on to the next phase.
Full Mouth Reconstruction
The final phase of TMJ treatment is fixing your bite. When your teeth are uneven and causing a bad bite, your jaw can’t close right, which causes your TMJ. In this phase, we’ll use different dental restorations to repair and replace your teeth for the optimum bite. Dr. Rosen will determine which treatments you need, and some may take longer than others, but in the end, you’ll have beautiful teeth with a perfect bite.
Orthodontics: Severely crooked teeth can cause your mouth to close imperfectly. We can straighten your teeth and move your jaw into a better position using orthodontics.
Dental Crowns, Inlays, and Onlays: If you have worn teeth from grinding, in many cases, we can use crowns, inlays, or onlays to build up the teeth that have become too short.
Porcelain Veneers: Dental veneers can also build up worn teeth.
Dental Implants, All-On-4 Dental Implants, and Dental Bridges: If you’re missing teeth that are causing your bite to be off-kilter, we’ll replace them with dental implants, all-on-4 dental implants, or a dental bridge.
After your treatment is complete, the symptoms you’re experiencing from TMJ will be minimized or eliminated. Take your life back today with TMJ treatment.
Find Relief to Your TMJ in Wilmington, DE
Many people in Wilmington are finding relief from their TMJ at the dental office of Dr. Michael T. Rosen. As a neuromuscular dentist, he can reorient your jaw to a pain-free life. Call (302) 994-0979 or make an appointment online today.