The “Temporomandibular Joint,” more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint,” assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. The pain can be acompanied by severe headaches and limited mobility of the jaw.
We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration, or damage of the joint tissue. We consider both soft and hard tissues in our evaluation. Pain, headaches, and limited mobility of the jaw are commonly experienced by affected individuals.
Many, but not all, TMJ dysfunctions are caused by the bite. An analysis of the bite, or occlusion, helps determine how to address each specific case. In some cases reshaping teeth, or equilibration, is used to achieve a stable bite and quickly provide relief. Patients who have complex cases will need to wear an appliance called a splint. This allows the ball, or condyle, to properly seat in the socket. Normally most, if not all, symptoms will disappear.
The next step is to make the improvement permanent. The options considered are equilibration, orthodontics, or crowning some teeth. After treatment is completed the majority of patients experience relief from pain and headaches and can function normally.