TMJ disorder is an oral health problem characterized by jaw pain and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. At Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA, your dentists, Dr. Papapetros, Dr. Ristuccia and Dr. Rigopoulos, successfully treat jaw problems so patients experience increased comfort and better oral function.
How does TMJ disorder happen?
The temporomandibular joints are hinges located on opposite sides of the head. They operate the jaws, causing fluid up and down and side to side movement. Unfortunately, arthritis, poor dental bite, injury, stress and habitual teeth clenching may interfere with the smooth operation of these facial joints.
As such, people have headaches, ear pain, toothaches, poor movement of the jaws, tinnitus and odd popping and clicking noises emanating from their jaws. About 12 percent of the American adult population suffers from some degree of TMJ dysfunction and that stress may exacerbate the issue.
Getting the help you need
At Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA, your dentists take TMJ disorder seriously. They understand that these odd symptoms are not imagined, but very real, and accordingly, they listen carefully to their patients' concerns and symptoms. Also, they do complete oral examinations and digital imaging to fully understand the source of pain.
After your TMJ exam, your dentist may recommend treatments that vary from simple to complex, depending on your particular case. Your plan may include:
- Eating a softer diet
- Relaxation techniques to reduce stress
- Jaw stretching exercises
- Application of heat to the sides of the face
- Massaging the jaw joints
- Over the counter analgesic medications, such as ibuprofen
- Muscle relaxant medications
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- Correction of dental bite with porcelain crowns or orthodontia (braces or aligners)
- Wearing a custom-made, acrylic bite guard at night to reduce teeth clenching and grinding
Only the severest of cases require oral surgery on the jaw joints.
Feel your best
TMJ disorders can be both painful and extremely frustrating. To understand why you have these symptoms and how to manage them, please contact your dentist at Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA. Dr. Papapetros, Dr. Ristuccia and Dr. Rigopoulos have the expertise and chairside manner you need for the best treatment outcomes. Call the office for an appointment at (781) 275-7707.