Think You Might Have TMJ?

tmj2The temporomandibular joint is the place where your lower jaw connects to your skull. Various disorders of this joint fall under the umbrella terms TMJ or TMD. These disorders can be problems with the muscles of the head and neck, the jaw, or the joint itself. Whatever the cause, TMJ is often a painful and uncomfortable condition which can limit your ability to speak, eat, and complete daily tasks. Dental Partners of Boston offers diagnosis and relief for sufferers of TMJ with TMJ appliances.

What causes TMJ?

Because TMJ is a general term for many conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, the cause can be one of several things. Injuries to the head, neck, or jaw can cause TMJ, as can arthritis, clenching of the teeth, or stress which tightens the muscles around the joint. Occasionally the soft cushion between the ball and socket of the joint can be displaced. It is impossible to know the source of the pain in any individual case without completing an exam.

How is TMJ diagnosed?

Symptoms to watch for include pain around the joint or in other areas of the head neck and face, especially pain associated with moving your jaw, chewing, or speaking. You should also take note of any difficulty in doing these activities, any noises from your jawbone, swelling in your face, or a change in the way your teeth fit together. All of these are possible signs of TMJ which you should have checked right away. You can call Dental Partners of Boston for an appointment during our scheduled office hours, or request an appointment online at any time.

Once at our office, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and to answer questions about your condition. Your diagnosis will be based on your description, on observation of the effects, on touching your jaw to pinpoint the source of pain, and sometimes on an x-ray or other imaging procedure. This exam allows us to confirm your TMJ and helps us to locate a cause to allow us to offer appropriate treatment.

What treatments does Dental Partners of Boston offer?

The exact treatment for your individual case will depend on the cause of your pain and can range from conservative and simple fixes to more aggressive treatment.  Our staff includes specialists in multiple areas who can address a wide range of TMJ causes, including a misalignment of your bite or teeth grinding and clenching. Whatever the cause, we can help relieve pain and reduce symptoms so that you can eat and speak without pain. Call our office or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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