Temporomandibular joint disorder is a common problem that is often misdiagnosed. The symptoms of TMJ disorder are headaches and pain throughout the head and neck that can sometimes extend down the spine. Other symptoms include vision and hearing issues, and chronic muscle pain.
TMJ disorder is often not top of mind for many health care professionals when a patient complains of frequent headaches or migraines. Very often, a trip to the dentist can hold the key to discovering the real cause of head pain and getting relief.
Dentists are well positioned to diagnose TMJ, which involves the jaws. The alignment of the teeth affects the way the jaws move, and crooked teeth or a bad bite can contribute to TMJ disorder by making the jaws work harder than they should. A dental exam and your answers to questions the dentist asks can help to determine if you have TMJ disorder.
Dental treatment for TMJ disorder is usually non-invasive and does not change the teeth or the bite permanently. If a change to the teeth would offer oral health benefits, or if TMJ symptoms are severe or do not respond to other treatment, dental procedures like teeth restoration or orthodontics could be considered.
Not to be confused with orthodontics, the word orthotics refers to the non-invasive dental treatment for TMJ. An orthotic is a device that is designed to keep your bite in its optimal position.
You may also hear the term oral appliance used for this device. It is small and comfortable, and gently positions your teeth to ease pressure on the jaws and provide relief from pain. Wearing the splint at night can allow you to wake up pain free and well rested.
Orthodontics and teeth restoration
If your teeth are misaligned or if you have damaged or missing teeth, correcting these issues could relieve TMJ symptoms.
Procedures to restore damaged teeth or move teeth into proper alignment can alleviate pressure on the jaws that is caused by a bad bite, missing teeth or teeth that are misshapen or broken.
Could dental treatment help relieve your TMJ pain?
If you have TMJ symptoms such as
- neck pain
- back pain
- ringing in the ears
- floaters in your field of vision
call your Milwaukee dentist for a consultation about TMJ disorder.