Your guide to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) treatment at the dentist’s office in Alpharetta, GA
Dr. Hanono, at the Bella Hanono Family Dentistry practice in Alpharetta, Georgia, will look into most of the causes, issues, and conditions arising from TMJ. And offer treatments to address these concerns.
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 essential 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 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 worsen symptoms.
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®, 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 practice today by calling us at (770) 343-4052.