Temporomandibular joint disorder is a painful condition that affects the joints of the upper and lower jaws at the point where they connect to the head. It is commonly called “TMJ disorder” for short. The early signs of TMJ disorder include a constant dull aching sensation by the temples or ears. This is often accompanied by pain when using the mouth for things like eating or chewing.
Most commonly, TMJ disorder is related to an inflammation developed from overworking the jaw while grinding the teeth. Other cases of TMJ disorder are attributed to arthritis, previous dislocation, or an injury to the ball and socket joint.
Effective treatment of TMJ disorder is dependent on finding out where the issue originates. Dentists at Memorial Park uses a two-step system to help find the problem and treat it accordingly.
The first part of the treatment will involve the patient being asked to eat only soft foods, or using heat treatment on the affected area to soothe the muscles of the jaw. If ineffective, your physician may employ more advanced options.
For people who grind their teeth at night, wearing a mouth guard while sleeping has proven to help their TMJ disorder. In these cases, Dr. Catalina Cruz Johnson will prescribe a custom mouth guard to slide over the teeth. This will protect the teeth from being damaged while grinding and also help ease tension in the jaw muscles. Quite often a mouth guard treatment is used in connection with rehab exercises designed to strengthen key muscles in the jaw. Medications for muscle relaxation and anti-inflammation may also be prescribed.
For any questions about TMJ treatment in Houston, Texas, please call Dentists at Memorial Park at 713-861-8323 to set up a consultation with your dentist Dr. Catalina Cruz Johnson.