You think of a dentist as a person who only treats your teeth and gums. While that is very important, a dentist can also offer treatment for your temporomandibular joints, or TMJ for short. These joints play a very important role in proper oral function. They help you speak, smile, and eat. If they cannot function properly, patients can be left in pain and their everyday life is affected. If you constantly suffer from headaches, jaw pain, or painful chewing, you could be exhibiting signs of a bite disorder called TMJ disorder. LIFESmiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers TMJ treatment in Boise, ID for patients that experience jaw pain or who suffer from TMJ disorders.
Dr. Dennis Garpetti and Dr. Brock Hyder work with patients to determine the underlying cause of their symptoms. We can create a personalized solution based on your needs. Our goal is to help alleviate the painful symptoms of a TMJ disorder and restore your quality of life. Addressing your TMJ disorder early on may help prevent further damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone.
What is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge-like joint that is surrounding by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This joint is located on each side of your face and connects the jaw to the skull. Located just in front of your ears, the joint is responsible for essential movements like chewing food, speaking, laughing, swallowing, yawning, singing, etc. Any trauma to the joint can cause an array of painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
What is a TMJ Disorder?
A TMJ disorder, called TMD, refers to a dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint. It is a group of conditions that affects the function of the TMJ and the muscles and ligaments that surround it. When these joints cannot function properly, it can lead to jaw pain, restricted jaw movement, and other symptoms.
It can be very difficult to determine the cause TMD. It can be obvious, such as a blow to the face or an injury. Some people suffer from a TMJ disorder for unexplained reasons. It is possible for patients to suffer from symptoms of TMJ for years without finding relief. They may not realize their symptoms are linked to a complex dental concern. Some factors that can contribute to TMD include:
- Teeth grinding
- Misaligned jaw
- Misaligned teeth
- Muscles tension
- An accident
Common Signs of a TMJ Disorder
TMJ symptoms can affect your quality of life. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, be sure to mention them during your next visit to our Boise dental office.
- Frequent Headaches
- Ear pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Worn or damaged teeth
- Tooth sensitivity or toothache
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Jaw pain or aches
- Clicking popping, or grinding sounds when moving the jaw
- Facial pain, jaw pain, or neck pain
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth fully
TMJ Treatment in Boise, ID
Treatment for TMJ is dependent on the root cause of TMJ, the patient’s overall oral health, and the presence of any underlying bite issues. Patients will need to undergo a full examination and bite analysis to assess any damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw joints. They may also require X-rays to see if there is any damage below the gums. After a complete examination, your dentist will create a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Your TMJ Treatment plant may include:
A nightguard is a custom designed oral appliance used to treat TMJ disorders. Patients will wear it during the night while sleeping. The nightguard, which essentially resembles a mouthguard, helps to reposition the jaw and reduce the pressure on the TMJ. This will prevent the patient from grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw while they sleep. These habits often exacerbate TMJ symptoms. This protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth will lessen the strain the jaw joints immensely. It also offers relief to the muscles and ligaments around the TMJ. When worn regularly, it will alleviate pain, get rid of frequent headaches, reduce inflammation in the jaw, and improve overall TMJ function. To learn more about the benefits of wearing a mouthguard, see Mouthguards.
Restorative dentistry treatments can help with a TMJ disorder by addressing dental issues that may contribute to the condition including excessive teeth grinding and clenching. We offer several treatments, such as dental crowns and dental bridges that can help with this condition. These treatments can fix misaligned teeth, improving bite alignment, and help address TMJ symptoms. Also, restorative dentistry is essential at fixing damaged caused by TMJ disorders and teeth grinding. This can lead to damage to the biting surface of the teeth. Treatments like dental implants or dentures can replace missing teeth, restoring proper oral function, and reducing strain on the TMJ. Overall, restorative treatments will help alleviate TMJ pain and fix any dental issues that threaten your oral environment. To learn more about the restorative treatments we offer, see Restorative Dentistry.
We offer the ClearCorrect clear aligner system as a reliable orthodontic treatment to help our patients suffering from a TMJ disorder. ClearCorrect clear aligner system is an effective way to realign the bite and straighten crooked teeth which can address the underlying bite alignment issues that may be contributing to the condition. This clear aligner system will gradually shift the teeth into proper position, thus aligning the teeth. This will improve the bite, reducing tension and stress on the teeth and jaw joint, and help to alleviate TMJ symptoms such as jaw pain, frequent headaches, and muscle tension. To learn more about how ClearCorrect works, see Invisible Braces.
If necessary, we may recommend one or more of these treatments to address your symptoms and alleviate any pain or discomfort you may feel.
Schedule An Appointment for TMJ Treatment in Boise, ID
We will provide you with the correct TMJ treatments in Boise, IDS to address all your painful symptoms of TMJ disorder. After an exam and consultation, your dentist will develop a treatment plan that will work best for you and your unique needs. If you would like to visit our office for an evaluation, call (208) 254-6365 to schedule an appointment.