How to Diagnose and Treat TMJ

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, refers to the part of your jaw that hinges and joins the lower and upper jaw together. Since your jaw has to move in such intricate ways; up and down, side to side, forward and back, this joint can get misaligned or even stuck. This often results in a popping or clicking of the jaw, or even a “stuck” haw, and can be very painful. It is estimated that about 12 percent of the population in the US had had TMJ at some time. Women are also much more prone to TMJ than men. Oregon City general dentist Dr. Sam Greenstein offers TMJ diagnosis and treatment in Oregon City and the surrounding areas. If you are experiencing TMJ pain, please call our office today to schedule an appointment today

The Symptoms of TMJ

There are quite a few indications of TMJ disorder, but it also can be hard to self diagnose, as some of symptoms can be the result of other oral health issues. An experienced dentist, like Oregon City dentist Dr. Sam Greenstein, can help identify TMJ effectively by examining, taking X-rays and looking at a patients’ dental and medical records.

TMJ Symptoms May Include:

  • Popping or clicking sounds when opening or close the jaw or mouth
  • Stuck or locked jaws
  • Pain when you yawn or chew
  • Headaches, which may present like migraines, or pain and pressure in the head.
  • Sore or tender of the muscles in the jaw
  • A abrupt difference in how the lower and upper teeth come together

How We Treat TMJ

There are a variety of treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms of TMJ. Dr. Greenstein may recommend trying one of these methods. In quite a few TMJ cases, if the symptoms are mild enough, patients can treat themselves at home by decreasing the movements of the jaw, stretching the jaw, and massaging the sore jaw muscles.

  • If the Dr. thinks your TMJ is caused by tooth grinding or clenching when you sleep then they may prescribe a mouth guard to wear when sleeping.
  • Wearing an oral appliance (like a bite plate or splint) that is custom fit to the patient’s mouth and keeps the teeth from grind against either other.
  • Trying relaxation techniques to eliminate as much stress as possible to reduce muscle tension in the jaw area
  • Stop chewing gum and try to eat softer foods
  • Taking over the counter anti- inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or pains relievers
  • In some cases, if all other treatments have been exhausted, surgery on the jaw joint may the course of action recommended
  • Often, TMJ disorders are not too serious, and will go away by themselves after a few months. For those for who TMJ is a longer lasting issue, and starts to affect the daily life, and cannot be treated with milder methods, getting a proper diagnosis and treatment plan in place quickly is best.

Call our Oregon City dental office today to schedule an appointment to talk over your TMJ concerns.