If you have TMJ, you are very familiar with the pain it can cause in the jaw, neck, and shoulders, besides the constant headaches. Because it mostly feels like jaw joint and muscle pain, you may not realize that it is a problem your dentist can help with. However, there are ways he or she can help, with a dental implant or other procedure. Here is some information on TMJ and why you should visit your dentist if you suffer with this disorder.
What is TMJ?
“TMJ” stands for the “temporomandibular joint” but is a common term used to describe problems with the joint where the jaw and the skull connect. You may have TMJ if you’ve noticed
- Facial and jaw joint pain
- Pain or a stuffy feeling in the ear
- A locking of the jaw joint when you open and/or close your mouth
- Tenderness in your neck, shoulders, and jaw joint area
- Difficulty chewing
- A clicking sound when you open or close your mouth
- Your top and bottom teeth don’t seem to fit together as they should
Jaw pain can be caused by genetics, jaw injury, arthritis or a connective tissue disease, cartilage damage, or long-term grinding of teeth. However, it can also be caused by problems that result from having misaligned or missing teeth.
How can your dentist help with TMJ?
If you are missing a tooth, it can cause your other teeth to move out of alignment, which can cause your upper and lower teeth to become misaligned. This only gets worse over time if it is untreated, causing stress for your facial and jaw muscles and eventually causing painful TMJ or another joint disorder.
A dental implant can help to treat TMJ by realigning the teeth and reducing stress on your muscles. A dental implant consists of a titanium post inserted under the gums and a replacement tooth (the crown) attached to the post.
Your dentist may also have other ideas for treatment for TMJ. If you have been suffering with TMJ, Hampton Dental Associates in Milwaukee can help, with a dental implant or another procedure. Call 414-377-5711 to make an appointment today!