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TMJ Treatment

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that links the skull and the jaws. It is found in front of the ears where the bone moves when you open your mouth. The TMJ is the only joint in the jaw and is responsible for movements, such as chewing, talking, yawning, laughing and other similar actions. Without the TMJ, we would not be able to move our mouth or eat our food. A TMJ that is damaged or is in pain can make one’s life very difficult because of the essential role it plays in the activities of everyday living.

Dr. Justin Wright understands how TMJ disorders can affect a person’s day-to-day life. Call Just Wright Dental today at 903-872-8422 to book a consultation and find out how he can help.

Disorders Associated with TMJ

The TMJ, like most parts of the body, can be damaged for various reasons. When a person is suffering from TMJ disorders, the quality of life decreases significantly and it can affect not only the person’s work, but also his or her mood, disposition, outlook on life and interpersonal skills. TMJ disorders may be due to the dislocation of the jaw joints or the deterioration of joint health.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

Some of the signs that indicate TMJ disorder include:

  • Pain in the jaws, cheeks and the area in front of the ears
  • Inflammation of the jaws
  • Lockjaw or difficulty in moving the jaw joints
  • Inability to open the mouth widely
  • Pain when chewing or talking
  • Clicking, popping or other sounds coming from jaw movements
  • Toothaches
  • Pain in the head, neck or other areas near the jaws
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

Other patients have also reported dizziness and nausea with severe TMJ disorders.

Causes of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders occur because of damage sustained by the joints. This damage may have happened as a result of:

Bruxism (teeth grinding). Teeth grinding is common in people who have high stress levels. Bruxism is usually involuntary and often happens during sleep. Grinding the teeth applies unnecessary pressure and strain on the teeth and jaws, resulting in TMJ disorders.
Jaw clenching. Some individuals may frequently clench their teeth when experiencing anger or pain. Like bruxism, jaw clenching places excessive pressure on the jaws.

Osteoarthritis. Commonly diagnosed in the elderly, osteoarthritis can also affect the jaw joints. This disorder is characterized by the reduction of the cartilage that protects the joints, exposing them and making them swell.

Excessive strain. The jaw joints can experience excessive strain because of frequent gum chewing, eating very hard or chewy foods, biting down on hard non-food items (ie: fingernails, pencils), opening the mouth too long or too widely, and abrupt mouth movements.
Trauma. Individuals who suffered from whiplash or other injuries close to the head and neck perhaps while playing sports may display symptoms of TMJ.

Treatment for TMJ Disorders

Dr. Justin Wright offers a number of treatments for TMJ disorders, including:

  • Mouth splints and dental appliances. Dental appliances are worn usually while sleeping to reduce the force of teeth grinding. These are similar to mouth guards but are custom-made to fit every patient’s mouth.
  • Pain relievers. Dr. Wright may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help alleviate the pain in your joints.
  • Surgery. In the most severe cases, surgery may be needed to relocate the jaw joints and/or restore the health and functionality of the joints.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from TMJ disorders, give Just Wright Dental a call at 903-872-8422 so that we can schedule an appointment for you. Our office is located at 465 W. 2nd Avenue Suite 125 Corsicana TX 75110.

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1465 West 2nd Avenue Suite 125
Corsicana, TX 75110