Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ)

TMJ Tulsa OKWhat do malocclusions, stress-induced teeth grinding, facial trauma, arthritis, and compulsive gum chewing have in common? Each one interferes with the healthy structure and function of the jaw, causing a very painful condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Commonly referred to as TMJ, this problem is not always preventable but is entirely curable with the right approach!

If you would like to speak with a professional about combating your TMJ in Tulsa, OK, look no further than the Smiles of Tulsa team.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint, i.e., the jaw joint, which controls chewing, speaking, as well as opening and closing of the mouth. When you have a misaligned bite, meaning that your upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly, the jaw joint is unable to provide adequate support to the facial muscles during their normal activities.

TMJ Problems and Symptoms

Excessive pressure on a healthy jaw joint, such as during teeth grinding or the onset of arthritis, can cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). It can also aggravate the condition further in cases where a malocclusion is already present. Because your jaw is part of an interconnected system of muscles and bones, TMJ problems affect not only the mouth but also other parts of the upper body.

Symptoms include:

  • Clicking and locking of the jaw
  • Sensitive, worn, or loose teeth
  • Facial pain and/or swelling
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • And more.

TMJ Treatment Symptoms

Although TMJ problems are serious and can lead to permanent damage, the majority of treatment options are non-invasive. The most common solution is a custom mouth guard that is worn at night, relaxing the jaw muscles and guiding them to their healthy position. Muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications may also be recommended to relieve symptoms. Only in severe cases will we resort to reconstructive surgery to correct your bite alignment.

Your dentist Dr. VanBrunt will determine the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.

To find out more about maintaining perfect jaw health for life with professional TMJ treatment in Tulsa, OK, we welcome you to call the office of Smiles of Tulsa today at (918)481-4910. Alternately, you can reach out to us through our website, and we will be happy to get started on providing you with a jaw that functions like clockwork!