What is the best TMJ treatment for Rochester area patients?
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint used to open and close the jaw. Patients who have problems with the muscles and joints in this area are said to have TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. When patients are diagnosed with this condition, they may want to speak to a professional about appropriate TMJ treatment. Dr. John L. Aurelia of the Rochester area is a dentist who can help patients struggling with this condition.
First, patients need to undergo a thorough examination for an effective diagnosis. Patients who have this condition may notice a number of concerns on a regular basis, including:
- Clenching and grinding of the teeth
- Sore, stiff muscles upon waking
- Chronic headaches and neck aches
- Pain and discomfort of the jaw and cheek area
- Clicking and popping of the jaw joint
- Problems opening and closing the mouth
- Difficulty or discomfort while eating
- Sensitive, worn down teeth
- Breakage of natural tooth enamel or restorations
Patients who have TMD often experience many of these problems, and once diagnosed appropriately, can seek an effective TMJ treatment.
There are various treatment options available for patients to achieve harmony with their jaw joint. Dr. John L. Aurelia can work with patients to determine the proper course of TMJ treatment while taking into consideration many factors, including the severity of the problem and patients’ budget.
Some treatment options may include resting the jaw and ensuring the upper and lower dental arches do not touch during the day. This may be achieved by wearing a mouthguard. Other patients may use a splint or a special oral appliance to wear at night to help realign the jaw and protect the teeth from clenching and grinding (known as bruxism). Many patients may also be able to address the discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications, the application of heat and ice, and by massaging the muscles around the joint regularly.
In other cases, patients may need to undergo orthodontic work in order to realign the bite if the TMJ is affected by the way the teeth fit together when patients close their jaw. This can be determined with a thorough examination and x-rays to determine the alignment of the natural bite.