TMJ Treatment in Westford & Bedford
Emerson Dental provides TMJ treatment in Westford & Bedford, MA. Call 978-399-0017 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
Temporomandibular joint disease, or TMJ, can cause a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Sore jaw muscles
- Unusual tooth wear
- Pain in the cheek or face
- Headaches or earaches
- Difficulty chewing
TMJ is a serious, but often overlooked, progressed disease. Without treatment, it could eventually cause severe damage to the jaw.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint normally operates like a sliding hinge between the skull and the jawbone. In people with TMJ, though, the joint becomes misaligned. Anxiety and stress can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding, aggravating the condition, but are not thought to be the root cause. Instead, TMJ is a structural condition resulting from the teeth becoming misaligned. The muscles then pull the jaw out of alignment during chewing in an effort to balance the bite, compounding the problem.
How is TMJ treated?
The best treatment for TMJ is to eliminate the excessive muscular activity. This is done by creating a bite that is in harmony with itself and with the joint, allowing the muscles to relax naturally. This eliminates the pain and stops the progressive destruction of the joint capsule.
Mild TMJ can often be treated with conservative options such as eating soft foods, avoiding extreme jaw movements, taking mild anti-inflammatory medications, and icing the joint. The most severe cases may require surgery. Most cases fall somewhere in the middle, with a treatment plan that includes a combination of conservative methods such balancing the bite or using a bite splint, which is also referred to as an night guard or occlusal guard.
If you are in the Westford area and suspect that you have TMJ, call 978-399-0017 to schedule your appointment.