The temporomandibular joints connect the skull to the lower jaw. These joints facilitate the movement required for eating and speaking. However, they can become tense when they cannot function properly. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, creates discomfort, jaw pain, and muscle tension when the temporomandibular joints are injured or non-functioning.
Dr. Gray Bailey treats temporomandibular joint disorders in Prairieville, LA. He helps patients restore the smile and eliminate pain or soreness in the jaw joints. Crooked teeth, overcrowding, jaw structure problems, stress, and dental trauma are all common causes of TMJ. If you have any of these dental issues, you may be more prone to developing TMJ.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?
TMJ and bite problems often manifest in multiple ways. If you have one or more of these problems, please call our office for a dental examination:
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
- Jaw clicking and locking
- Muscle spasms
- Worn teeth
- Chronic headaches
Dr. Bailey can help you alleviate TMJ pain and stop tooth wear and tear at the source with comfortable treatment.
Treating TMJ in Prairieville, LA
Dr. Bailey performs a bite exam during routine dental visits. He can also examine the head and neck if you have noticed any problems. If he finds during an examination that there is a problem with the bite or TMJ symptoms he may recommend nightguard treatment.
Nightguards are similar to mouthguards in that they are custom-made and meant to protect the teeth. Custom nightguards are worn during sleep and stop teeth from grinding together. Some patients who have TMJ disorders suffer from bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding that occurs unconsciously. Nightguards stop bruxism from causing jaw pain and tooth wear.
There are several frequently asked questions patients may have about TMJ and their treatment options:
Can TMJ go away on its own?
In most cases, TMJ does not disappear on its own. Some patients may have very mild symptoms and can assuage pain by reducing stress and practicing jaw exercises. However, in most cases, if TMJ is not treated, it can result in severe chronic pain. Please contact our Prairieville dental office if you have symptoms of TMJ. We can help you stop tooth wear, headaches, and jaw pain.
Do I need surgery to treat TMJ?
Dental surgery is only required for severe cases of TMJ. Surgery may be needed if the joints need to be repaired or reshaped. Some dentists can also inject medical fluid into the joints to stop inflammation and reduce pressure on the joints.
Can I treat TMJ at home?
Yes, if you have very mild symptoms of TMJ, there are several treatments you can do at home:
- Relaxing the facial muscles
- Using a heat pack or ice pack on the jaw
- Performing jaw exercises
- Eating soft foods
Call Absolute Quality Care Family Dentistry
Do you have tooth or jaw pain? It may be TMJ. Contact our Prairieville, LA dental office at 225.424.6449. You may also schedule a consultation with Dr. Bailey on our website.