TMJ Treatment in Lafayette
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. At Colorado Healthy Smiles, we offer TMJ treatment in Lafayette to help ease the pain and other symptoms of TMJ.
If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past.
These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.
One of the most common causes of this disease is trauma, clinching and grinding of the teeth. This can cause pain in muscles of the head and neck area, damage to the joint structure, and destruction of the teeth.
Symptoms of TMJ:
- Chronic headache
- Ear fullness or pain
- Clicking, popping or grating on the jaw joint
- Joint sounds
- Limited jaw opening or locking
- Pain when chewing
- Facial pain
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Tired jaws
- Difficulty closing the teeth together
- Impaired swallowing
- Asymmetric jaw movement
Treatment of TMJ varies from patient to patient and from practice to practice. They range from home care to conservative treatments,and injections to open surgery.
In most cases, TMJ symptoms are mild and will improve on their own within months with simple self-care remedies. These include eating softer foods, avoiding major jaw movements, and applying ice to the affected area. We highly advise starting with conservative treatments and consider surgery as a last resort.
Thankfully, TMJ related problems can often be successfully treated without surgery. The treatment plans we utilize at our office generally focuses on calming the surrounding muscles and ligaments, relieving the pain, and reducing pressure on the TM joint.
This is achieved by creating a custom-fitted oral appliance(night guard) that is hardly noticeable since it is made of clear acrylic, which is worn by the patient on either the upper or lower teeth. The orthotics are specifically designed for the patient’s medical needs so that it relieves strain and pressure and allows overstretched ligaments and overworked muscles to heal. The night guard (or orthotic) can be worn only at night, however in some instances our guests receive so much relief they prefer to wear it during the daytime as well.
To get the right care for your TMJ, talk to Dr. Schaferas soon as possible. The sooner you receive treatment, the better.