Your guide to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) treatment at the dentist’s office in Alpharetta, GA
Looking for relief from migraines? Neck and shoulder pain? Jaw stiffness? You’ve come to the right place to get real, lasting relief from these and other symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction. TMJ treatment in Alpharetta, GA at the office of Bella Hanono Family Dentistry is multi-faceted and tailored to address the specific root causes of joint imbalance or tension. We’ve provided a guide to clear up a few of the common misconceptions about this condition, and to provide a glimpse into how our focused knowledge of oral structures can be used to improve the quality of your life.
A deeper bite into TMJ, TMD“TMJ” refers to a part of your anatomy, the joint that behaves like a hinge. It connects the jawbone on either side of your face to the skull. When operating fluidly, the TM joint facilitates smooth movements that allow for basic functions, such as opening and closing your mouth to speak, yawn, laugh, or grind down food. TMJ is not the condition itself. TMD, which also refers to “Temporomandibular Joint Disorders,” is the widely-accepted term to describe a collection of symptoms and diseases that are associated with the TMJs, and their interconnected structures and tissues.
Additional TMD symptoms include:
- Jaw “clicking” or “popping”
- Bruxism, teeth-grinding or jaw-clenching
- Radiating facial pain
- Back pain
- Excessive wear and tear on natural teeth
- Frequent repairs or replacement of dental work
- Irregularities with how the upper and lower teeth fit together
Symptom severity varies considerably from patient to patient. Even within the same patient, formerly minor discomfort may become more debilitating. Pain and other functional problems can interfere with work, school, sleep, and other day-to-day activities. Factors such as stress are also thought to play a role, as tight muscles can make symptoms worse.
By partnering with Dr. Hanono, we can help you to reduce your reliance on pain medications, with therapies that target the cause, rather than the symptoms. After evaluating you, she may determine that lightweight oral appliances can effectively ease the tension placed on the jaw joints and surrounding tissues. These custom-fit guards or splints are designed to slip over your teeth, and can also help to protect restorations and natural tooth structure from damage caused by jaw clenching and teeth-grinding. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces and aligners like Invisalign®, also promote healthy and balanced contact between the opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws. Even seemingly simple adjustments, such as refraining from a chronic gum-chewing habit, can improve the frequency and severity of symptoms. Finally, we may recommend relaxation techniques and exercises that lift the stress placed on the joints, and strengthen the muscles.
Resolve to live without pain. Schedule an evaluation at our office today.