The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a small joint that is in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. This joint allows the mandible (lower jaw) to move and function. This the most constantly used joint in the body. The TMJ is a “ball and socket” joint, where the round end or “ball” is called the condyle; the “socket” is called the fossa.
Another important factor for proper TMJ function is the teeth themselves because if teeth don’t fit together properly, stresses can be generated that can displace the condyle and damage the disc, ligaments, and muscles.
TMJ disorders can be relatively minor, or they can be extremely painful and potentially debilitating. Attendant habits, such as clenching or grinding the teeth, along with emotional stress can trigger TMJ symptoms as well as muscle spasms around the joint and jaws.
Those who suffer from TMJ can display a variability of symptoms, and certain signs may indicate the potential for TMJ disorders to develop
Following are signs and symptoms that are possible in patients with TMJ problems:
At Briargate Dental Center, we use Botox treatment for use versus acute and chronic muscular TMJ problems. Botox is used as an alternative treatment for TMJ disorders and associated jaw tension and pain. The injections often eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding, and, in cases of severe stress, Botox can even minimize lockjaw.
At Briargate Dental Center we also use splint therapy, specifically NTI. Some of the benefits of using NTI treatment include
There are a variety of physical therapy techniques that can be used to treat certain types of TMJ disorders and these may require a referral to the appropriate specialist. These techniques include jaw exercises, posture training, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, biofeedback, and others.
Your Colorado Springs Dentist may recommend the construction of a nightguard device, or occlusal splint to be worn for varying amounts of time, depending on the nature of your TMJ problem. There are many types of splints to help reposition the jaw, prevent clenching and grinding of the teeth, rest the jaws, and help relax the jaw muscles.
Orthodontic treatment or dental treatment such as restorations to correct a defective bite may be necessary and potentially therapeutic as they restore proper harmony between the teeth, muscles, and joint.
Briargate Dental Center in Colorado Springs, CO specializes in multiple dental services under one roof in order to provide our patients with the best care possible. Contact us today for your regular checkup or if you are interested in a particluar service. New patients welcome!