TMJ disorder causes a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including jaw clicking, jaw pain, headaches, and more.
Dentists can treat problems affecting the TMJs (temporomandibular joints) with a range of effective treatments.
At Vitacare Dental Centre in Coquitlam, BC, Canada, we can diagnose and treat your TMJ disorder.
What Are the TMJs?
The temporomandibular joints, often referred to as the TMJs, are the hinged joints located at the sides of the mouth. They are unique in that they move in a side-to-side and up-and-down motion, making it easy for patients to bite into and chew food. Unfortunately, one or both temporomandibular joints can be damaged due to bruxism, inflammation, displacement, injury, arthritis, and other reasons, causing pain and other troublesome symptoms.
When patients experience problems with the temporomandibular joints, it is referred to as temporomandibular disorder, TMJ disorder, or TMD; all of these terms are interchangeable. When patients suspect that they have issues with the TMJs, they should undergo a pain-free evaluation with a dentist who is trained to diagnose and treat TMJ disorder. TMD is easy to treat, and there are several options available.
How Do I Know I Should Seek Treatment? TMJ Disorder Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of temporomandibular disorders include:
- Clicking and popping of the jaw when you open and close your mouth
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
- Bruxism (chronic teeth grinding and clenching)
- Jaw pain
- Tooth pain, especially on the molars
- Facial pain that extends out to the jaw, neck, and shoulders
- Ear problems, including pain and ringing of the ears
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Contact Our Practice Get Relief for Your TMD
The best way to get relief from the symptoms of temporomandibular disorder is to visit a clinic and seek treatment from a dentist. The team at Vitacare Dental Centre in Coquitlam, serving the greater Vancouver area, can diagnose and treat your TMD. We can perform a visual examination and take a series of x-rays to identify the extent of the issues with your TMJs. Once we better understand the issues affecting your temporomandibular joints, we can develop a treatment plan that will best meet your needs.
TMJ Disorder Treatments
BOTOX for TMD
BOTOX is well-known for its ability to address facial wrinkling. Many patients don't know that it offers medical and therapeutic uses as well, including treatment for temporomandibular disorders. The active ingredient in BOTOX products relaxes the area into which it is injected. That means that when BOTOX is injected into the TMJ, it can alleviate pressure on the surrounding structures and reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of TMD.
Oral appliances for TMD are also known as splint therapy. During your consultation at our Coquitlam practice, we will take digital x-rays and impressions to ensure that we create a custom splint that will hold the TMJs in place, prevent chronic clenching and grinding, and reduce the symptoms of TMD.
Oral appliances are a common treatment for TMD because they only have to be worn at night to alleviate pain and other symptoms. In the morning, patients can remove the appliance, clean it, and experience more comfortable jaw alignment and better function throughout the day.
While some TMD has a purely physical cause, some patients can greatly benefit from stress-reduction techniques. Stress can contribute to bruxism, the chronic grinding and clenching of the jaw that puts stress on the TMJ, causes tooth pain, and eventually wears down the teeth.
Stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and more, can reduce bruxism and TMJ disorder. For some patients, we encourage them to see if certain changes to their lifestyle can reduce stress and TMD. Stress-relief tactics can also be used in combination with other therapies.
Our entire team is committed to helping you finally experience relief from TMJ pain, clicking, popping, and other problems associated with this condition. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will address the cause of your temporomandibular disorder and provide long-term relief.
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