TMJ disorders have a number of causes such as a previous injury to the jaw, arthritis, and muscle fatigue from an improper bite leading to clenching and grinding of the teeth. TMJ has a variety of symptoms including jaw pain, facial pain, headaches, sensitive teeth, ringing ears, and bruxism. Most cases of TMJ disorders can be treated non-surgically with occlusal splint therapy, a bite adjustment, or a combination of these two therapies. Acute TMJ pain may be treated with medication and a soft diet while more chronic TMJ pain requires splint therapy and bite analysis and correction.
An occlusal splint is sometimes referred to as a night guard and is made of a Hard Plastic. The splint prevents interference caused by the teeth and allows the jaw and TMJ to be in alignment with the skull and thus relieving the joint of stress and the muscles of fatigue. Some cases of TMJ disorder do require surgical intervention but usually as a last resort.
Adjusting the bite or teeth position is another way of getting the jaws positioned correctly to align the TMJ. An adjustment can be as easy as polishing off some tooth structure and/or adding to the tooth with bonding. It can also require full mouth reconstruction with crowns and veneers. It may require a combination of procedures so it is very important to perform an occlusal analysis prior to full mouth reconstruction therapy. If you are struggling with TMJ and are wondering what measures can be taken, do not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Sajeev or Dr. Jyothi Joshua who are both Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons to help you analyze your TMJ disorders.