Many people are surprised to find that the orthodontist is the specialist to see for TMJ treatment. Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the placement of the teeth, alignment of teeth, alignment of the jaw, and corrective treatments for the same.
About four million people are wearing braces in the U.S. to correct for things like overbites, crooked teeth, and more. It is easy to see why so many people think of the orthodontist when it comes to corrections, but that is not the only treatment these experts have to offer. TMJ can be a debilitating condition. Orthodontics for treating TMJ can help to alleviate the problem.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a hinge. It is the joint that connects the lower jaw to your skull and that allows you to open and close your mouth to speak, eat, and drink. There are two of these joints one on each side of your head.
TMJ disorder is when you experience pain or clicking noise when you open and close your mouth. It can be very hard to pinpoint the cause of TMJ disorder. It can result from a jaw injury, arthritis, and, in some cases, it can be inherited.
The Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Symptoms of TMJ disorder can include pain in the joint when chewing. It can also cause tension headaches from the muscles of the jaw working overtime. In some cases, in the early stages before the pain in the joint itself flares, you may notice a clicking noise in the jaw and notice neck pain.
Other symptoms include:
- Facial pain in and around the jaw area
- Locking jaw – This occurs when you’re unable to open the mouth fully or close it
- Ear pain
The symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In almost all cases, TMJ treatment is necessary because the problem will deteriorate with time and the pain will get worse. An orthodontist can provide you with a diagnosis and discuss TMJ treatment options with you.
TMJ Treatment Options
The orthodontic exam will help your orthodontist to understand the severity of the condition and what the best treatment cause will be to correct the problem. The orthodontist will measure things like range of motion, take x-rays, and interview you about your symptoms.
Treatment can include pain medication, therapies, wearing a mouth guard, or even surgical correction. Your orthodontist is the expert that can help you to correct a TMJ disorder with a wide range of TMJ treatment options. When you want to get your health under control, rely on the orthodontist you can trust: David Ross Orthodontics.