Greenville, SC area dentist discusses TMJ disorders and treatment
At Palmer Distinctive Dentistry, our services extend well beyond filling cavities and cleaning teeth. We focus on improving the overall health of our patients. One way we do this is through the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders.
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge between the jaw and skull. When dysfunction occurs in this joint, it results in a wide range of symptoms that can be uncomfortable for patients. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Pain along the jaw joint
- Jaw locking
- Changes in tooth alignment
- Pain or discomfort when chewing or yawning
- Radiating facial pain
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Frequent earaches
When patients experience some of the aforementioned symptoms, we check for TMJ disorders. Once TMJ is diagnosed, we can recommend a course of action for treatment. Most commonly, we suggest custom oral appliance therapy. This occlusal orthotic device is typically worn at night and is an extremely conservative and effective approach to treating TMJ disorders. The device prevents strain on the jaw and stops night bruxism (clenching of the teeth). Patients who utilize orthotic devices often see a dramatic reduction in symptoms.
Other actions such as using ice packs and avoiding hard foods can also help alleviate symptoms. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may also be effective at improving alignment and eliminating symptoms.
Many patients are concerned that they will need surgery to correct their TMJ disorders. While this may be true in some extreme cases, it is rare. At Palmer Distinctive Dentistry, we always use the most conservative solutions. Our holistic approach to dentistry means that we will always try the least invasive way possible to improve oral health and alleviate symptoms. If you are in the Greenville area and are experiencing symptoms of TMD, call us today for a consultation.
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