TMJ Treatment Can Eliminate Pain and Protect Your Smile
Dr. Gianni Franceschi and the team at Smiles of Trinity Family Dentistry understand how painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can be. At our New Port Richey, FL, office, we offer conservative TMJ treatment, including oral appliance therapy and corrective procedures, to minimize symptoms and help realign your bite for improved comfort. Catching TMJ disorder early can prevent the need for more costly, complex treatment and dramatically improve your quality of life.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Located in front of each ear, the TMJs connect your lower and upper jaw. The joints are interconnected with various muscles and tendons and are responsible for moving the jaw up and down or side to side, allowing you to chew, speak, bite down, yawn, and more.
Research has shown that over 10 million Americans struggle with some form of TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the health and function of these joints. Research has shown that over 10 million Americans struggle with some form of this condition. Causes vary for each patient but can include:
- Jaw injury
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Dental misalignment
- Stress or anxiety
- Poor posture
- Habitual gum chewing
When the joints are compromised, they can become inflamed and irritated. This can lead to a host of side effects, such as:
- Jaw pain and stiffness that radiates to your neck, back, or shoulders
- Toothaches and dental damage
- Ear pain or ringing in the ears
- Headaches or migraines, often followed by dizziness
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing your mouth
- Limited dental function
The treatment we recommend will depend on the severity and cause of your condition. Dr. Franceschi will perform a full examination of your mouth and take x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. For patients who have experienced dental damage as a result of their TMJ disorder, we can provide a number of corrective procedures, such as dental crowns or dental fillings. Tooth loss can also contribute to jaw misalignment. For these patients, Dr. Franceschi provides both traditional dental bridges and implant-supported restorations.
In addition to corrective procedures, Dr. Franceschi may also recommend certain lifestyle adjustments to allow your jaw to heal. This may include:
- Managing your stress and anxiety
- Limiting your caffeine intake
- Not chewing gum
- Limiting hard-to-chew foods
If these lifestyle changes do not provide sufficient relief, the doctor may prescribe a custom oral appliance. Night guards are designed to fit comfortably over your top and bottom teeth and should be worn at night while sleeping. These guards can alleviate pressure on your jaw, as well as keep your top and bottom teeth from grinding against each other. Other types of oral appliances aim to promote a healthier bite by gently realigning the jaw.
Are You Experiencing Jaw Pain?
If you are looking for a way to stop your ongoing jaw pain so you can find comfort and enjoy eating all your favorite foods, we can provide customized TMJ treatment. To determine if you are a good candidate, please contact our office today online or call (727) 376-6969.
“The doctor and staff go the extra mile to make sure I am comfortable and understand exactly what is taking place. I have been a patient for over 5 years and am 110 percent satisfied.” Randee W.