Treating TMJ with Functional Jaw Orthopedics
TMJ is short for temporomandibular disorder and it’s a painful condition that affects your temporomandibular joints which are responsible for moving your lower jaw. Any stresses on these joints can result in pain and inflammation and this pain can spread down your neck and into your shoulders, and it’s known to cause chronic headaches for some people.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ can cause numerous symptoms. You might find you wake up with a sore and aching jaw or that your teeth feel more sensitive than before. This is because TMJ is often caused by a condition called bruxism where sufferers clench and grind their teeth, most frequently during the night. In this case teeth can become worn down or chipped due to the substantial stresses created by clenching and grinding. With TMJ, you may also notice it is painful to open and close your mouth or that your jaw makes a clicking or popping sound when you do so. Some people find their jaw occasionally becomes locked in either an open or closed position.
What Causes TMJ?
As we mentioned, TMJ can be caused by bruxism but it may also be due to jaw injuries for joint disease. Other things that can affect your jaw joints include the way your teeth and jaws are aligned. Many people who are diagnosed with TMJ have some degree of malocclusion that is sufficient for them to develop unpleasant symptoms. This is where functional jaw orthopedics can help. Our dentists will carefully assess the way your teeth and jaws are aligned. Functional jaw orthopedics is a treatment that can use fixed and removable appliances to gently but firmly realign your jaws and teeth. Correctly aligning your teeth and jaws will help them fit together correctly, reducing stress and inflammation in your temporomandibular joints.
How Does Treatment Work?
The aim is to ensure your teeth bite together properly through correcting any problems such as underbites or overbites and crossbites. This might mean first wearing and appliance that will move your jaw bones, creating more space for teeth that were previously overcrowded and out of position. It is an approach that helps to minimize tooth extractions and it may be useful in creating a better facial profile. Functional jaw orthopedics treatment isn’t just concerned with correctly aligning your teeth, as it also takes into account the health of your jaw joints, your jawbones and the facial muscles used for moving your jaws. With this treatment, your teeth, jaw bones and facial muscles should all be working together harmoniously. It is a conservative way to treat TMJ but it can be highly effective.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Functional jaw orthopedics is an advanced treatment that can work extremely well, but of course it is only just one way that we can treat TMJ. When you come to see our dentists at Envy Smile Dental Spa, we can assess your teeth and jaws and will chat to you about our findings before recommending the most suitable treatment.