Jaw clenching, tooth grinding (bruxism), or an improper bite can cause jaw popping, clicking, tenderness and headaches and contribute to tooth and gum pain. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is the medical name for a host of symptoms that arise due to the proximity of these joints to many muscles, nerves, connective tissues and ligaments. Jaw problems affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, chew, swallow and even breathe.
Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction:
- Jaw pain
- Facial pain
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Inability to open the mouth comfortably
- Clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint
- Locking of the jaw
- Ear pain and ringing in the ears
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Increased tooth sensitivity
Causes of TMJ Diseases:
Not all causes are known. Some possible causes include injuries to the jaw area, various form of arthritis, extensive dental procedures, poor posture, airway problems, overstretching of the jaw (while inserting a breathing tube before surgery), extensive grinding or clenching of the teeth.
Conservative non-invasive management of TMJ Dysfunction:
- Soft diet
- Physical therapy
- Medications—anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxants
- Custom night guard
Advanced non-invasive management of TMJ Dysfunction:
- Ozone injections
- Botox injections
- Neuromuscular or orthopedic appliance therapy
Advanced irreversible treatment of TMJ Dysfunction:
- Extensive dental work to rebuild occlusion and reestablish vertical dimension
- Bite adjustment (coronoplasty)
- Functional orthodontics
- Surgical procedures such as disc repair/repositioning or replacement of the jaw joint
In cases where the traditional or more conservative approaches have already been attempted without improvement in the patient’s TMJ health, Dr. Nemeth will evaluate what other treatment options the patient has available. She has extensive training in neuromuscular dentistry and full mouth rehabilitation through Occlusion Connections Advanced TMJ Educational Institute. If the patient needs more specialized treatment, Dr. Nemeth and her team will coordinate the referral to one of our surgical or orthodontist specialists.
If you would like to set up a consultation with Dr. Nemeth to discuss your concerns about TMJ disease management, please call our office in Austin, Texas, at 512-327-6947.