Why Should You Turn to a Dentist for TMJ Treatment?

January 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsolutionstopeka @ 12:16 pm
Woman with jaw pain laying in bed

Do you suffer from constant headaches or persistent jaw pain? You could have temporomandibular joint disorder. Your first instinct may be to call a doctor to seek relief. However, in this case, contacting your dentist is likely your best bet. To learn why you should turn to a dentist for TMJ pain in Topeka, keep reading below.

What Is TMJ/TMD?  

The two joints that hinge your jawbone to the upper skull are known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). You may not think about them much, but you use these joints every day to chew, speak, laugh, and even yawn. When your temporomandibular joints are in pain and don’t work correctly, however, it can really impact your quality of life. Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD, is an umbrella term for various issues that cause pain in the joints, muscles, and facial nerves that control jaw movement. Common TMD symptoms include:

  • Muscle pain in the cheeks and neck
  • Swelling on either side of the face
  • Persistent headaches
  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing your mouth
  • Locking of your jaw
  • Hearing difficulty or ringing ears
  • Dizziness and vision problems
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity

What Causes TMD?

TMD affects up to 15% of adults according to the American Association of Family Physicians. However, even though it’s fairly common, determining the exact cause of TMD often remains a challenge. Your jaw pain may be due to a combination of factors, including:

  • Grinding teeth at night, which places additional force on your jaw joints
  • Dental infections that are neglected and allowed to spread
  • Arthritis around the temporomandibular joints
  • Physical trauma that damages your jaw or facial muscles

How a Dentist Can Help

If you’re dealing with persistent jaw pain or other symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist about TMJ therapy in Topeka. Dental professionals are educated about all aspects of oral health, not just teeth. Moreover, many dentists undergo additional training in different specialties, such as how to care for craniofacial areas.

After carefully examining your mouth and discussing your symptoms, your dentist may recommend oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is a small plastic device worn that repositions the jaw to reduce joint tension. Oral appliances are custom-designed to fit comfortably in your mouth and are typically only worn at night. They can also protect your teeth from nighttime grinding and clenching, which may contribute to TMJ pain in the first place.

TMJ dysfunction can be a major drain on your health and happiness – but it does not have to be! Talk to your dentist to learn if oral appliance therapy can help alleviate your pain.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Michel has over three decades of experience helping patients overcome face and jaw pain. A proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas School of Dentistry, he has extensively studied the nonsurgical treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction through BioResearch. To learn more about TMJ therapy in Topeka, visit Dr. Michel’s website or call 785-273-0802.  

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