Thompson Advanced Dentistry offers treatment for patients who suffer from TMJ disorders. Dr. Joseph Thompson welcomes patients from Johnstown, CO who suffer from pain in their jaw and are in need effective treatment. He possesses advanced training in diagnosing and treating various bite disorders.
What is TMJ?
TMJ disorders stem from problems with the temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). This joint is located on both sides of your skull and helps the jaw open and close. It is vital for chewing foods and speaking. The term TMJ refers to many problems that can exist with this joint.
What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?
There are several things that can cause TMJ problems. Some of them include medical problems such as arthritis. Other causes include life style habits and choices such as stress and poor posture. Many causes of TMJ however are caused by dental problems. Injury to the teeth or jaw can easily lead to temporomandibular joint pain. Bruxism (teeth grinding) and teeth clenching are some of the main causes of TMJ. Any of these reasons can lead to a bite imbalance resulting in TMJ pain.
TMJ Treatment Options in Johnstown, CO
People with TMJ problems may suffer from pain in many areas including the jaw, face, head, ears, neck, and shoulders. Additional symptoms include frequent headaches, popping noises in the jaw, and limited mobility with the jaw. If you suffer from any of these, Dr. Thompson will evaluate your jaw and teeth and take x-rays. If you do in fact have TMJ dysfunction, a comprehensive treatment plan will be created for you. Since no two patients are alike, you will need to undergo a unique course of treatment to help you find relief from your TMJ pain. Dr. Thompson may include any of the following options in your treatment plan:
These are used to move the jaw into proper position and prevent teeth grinding. They are similar to a sports mouthguard and are custom made to fit perfectly over your teeth. TMJ mouthguards, also called nightguards, are worn at night or while you sleep.
Dental restorations may need to be re-done or tooth damage may need fixed. This will help create a proper bite that is aligned. Restorative treatment includes dental crowns, tooth bonding, dental veneers or other necessary dental treatments.
Crooked teeth may be the cause of your TMJ problem and will need to be straightened to correct your bite. Dr. Thompson may use clear aligners to straighten your teeth or refer you to an orthodontist.
Is TMJ a medical or dental problem?
It can be a medical problem, a dental problem, or a combination of both. The most important thing is to figure out what is causing your TMJ issues. Due to the location of the temporomandibular joint, dentists know a lot about TMJ disorders. They can examine your entire mouth and take x-rays of your jaw to determine if it is caused by bruxism, bite misalignment, current dental work, or past dental work. If your TMJ problems are due to medical problems such as joint inflammation or fibromyalgia then you will need to be treated by a specialist or your PCP.
What can happen if I ignore my TMJ problems?
TMJ can be very painful and hard to ignore. If left untreated, the condition can worsen and lead to further, more intense pain. The pain can radiate to the neck and head making it impossible to live a normal life. Because of the pain, people have been known to suffer from malnutrition and depression. Additionally, untreated TMJ can cause damage to teeth and lead to long-term dental health problems such as tooth loss. Other problems include airway obstructions, tinnitus, and joint degeneration. Seeking treatment is imperative to avoiding these serious issues.
Schedule A TMJ Consultation with Thompson Advanced Dentistry
Patients from Johnstown, CO can schedule an appointment with Dr. Thompson to learn more about TMJ treatment. Contact our office at 970.205.9614 or request an appointment with Dr. Thompson online.