Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are relatively small parts of the body, but their responsibilities are anything but minor. They connect your lower jaw (also known as the mandible) to the skull, controlling necessary jaw functions like chewing and speaking. Unfortunately, any injury or strain to this area can result in serious, even debilitating oral discomfort that robs patients of the quality of life they deserve. After all, how can you fully be in the moment when you can’t stop thinking about the pain?
Thankfully, our doctors can lend a helping hand here at Charlottesville Blue Ridge Dental and Crozet Blue Ridge Dental. We can diagnose and treat TMJ disorder with personalized therapy that helps get every part of your oral health back on track. Please contact either of our practices today if you have any questions, or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.
Do I Have TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is a complex condition that manifests uniquely in every patient. It may develop over time because of chronic bruxism (teeth grinding), or a traumatic injury to the face could cause sudden, serious dysfunction. Whatever the source is, though, some symptoms are consistent. If you experience any of the following on a regular basis, please reach out to us:
- Significant discomfort in the jaw, face, neck, head, or shoulders
- Constant pain that feels similar to an earache
- Frequent headaches especially at night or when waking in the morning
- Constant clicking and popping sounds in the jaw
- Experiencing difficulty with chewing and/or opening the mouth fully
- A jaw that is regularly locking in place
Occlusal splints (nightguards) can be helpful in relieving TMJ-related pain and resettling the jaw into a more comfortable position. These custom-made appliances are typically worn during sleep, and they’ll prevent unwanted shifting, clenching, grinding, and other instances of strain that can affect your oral health as you rest peacefully throughout the night. Over time, the consistent use of an occlusal splint can even result in permanent, positive adjustments!