TMJ disorder is a painful condition that develops when the balance of the temporomandibular joints are off. The temporomandibular joints connect the jaw bone to the cheekbone. If these joints are out of their correct position, they can become tender and inflamed. As a result, individuals suffering from TMJ disorder may experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including jaw pain, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, headaches, and earaches. Fortunately, there are a number of TMJ disorder treatment options available to our Montreal, QC patients that can improve the position and function of the joints to relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorder, as well as restorative dentistry treatments to repair any dental damage that may have developed as a result of this condition. Dr. Roni S. Berbari is happy to discuss these treatment options in further detail with his patients.
Mouth guards, or occlusal plates or splints, are a common form of treatment for TMJ disorder. In many cases, TMJ disorder is the result of malocclusion problems. If the teeth or jaw are not properly aligned, it puts excessive pressure on the temporomandibular joints, which can result in TMJ disorder. A mouth guard can hold the jaw in proper alignment. This relieves pressure from the temporomandibular joint so that it can function without pain. A mouth guard is typically worn while the patient sleeps. Each mouth guard is custom-fit to the patient’s mouth so that it fits comfortably and does not interfere with their comfort or ability to sleep.
If severe malocclusion problems are thought to be the cause of TMJ disorder, the patient may be an ideal candidate for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment uses subtle but constant pressure to gradually shift the teeth and jaw into their proper position. Braces are the most traditional form of orthodontic treatment. Braces use brackets and wires to apply the pressure that is needed to correct the position of the teeth and jaw bone. Alternatively, patients may consider Invisalign®. Invisalign® uses clear aligner trays to encourage the movement of the teeth and jaw. The discreet appearance of Invisalign® aligners has earned this orthodontic treatment the nickname, “invisible braces.”
Restorative Dentistry Treatment
Restorative dentistry treatment can be especially beneficial to individuals suffering from TMJ disorder. If the teeth have suffered from dental damage (especially the teeth at the back of the mouth), it can throw off the balance of the smile. This can result in an uneven bite and added stress on the temporomandibular joints. Restorative dentistry treatments can rebuild tooth structure and improve the bite to relieve symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can also place undue pressure on the back teeth, which can lead to dental damage. It is important to correct this damage so that further dental complications, such as root canal infection, do not develop.
In most cases, non-invasive treatments such as mouth guards, orthodontics, restorative dentistry treatment, or a combination of the three can successfully treat TMJ disorder. Unfortunately, in severe cases, oral surgery may be necessary to correct the position of the jaw and temporomandibular joints. Oral surgery will only be considered when other treatments have failed to provide relief from TMJ disorder.
If you suffer from lockjaw, a sore mouth, and/or frequent headaches, you may be experiencing the symptoms of TMJ disorder. To learn more about how to treat TMJ disorder and restore oral comfort, contact us at your earliest convenience.