Hometown Dental

The Basics of TMJ

You may have clicked this blog out of pure curiosity wondering what TMJ could be or maybe you’re actively looking for answers to clear up a dental problem. Whatever your interest in this post may be, our dentists and team at Hometown Dentistry want to help you have a healthy and happy smile.

About TMJ

TMJ is an abbreviation for the body’s temporomandibular joint. This joint is in your mouth and it serves as a sort of hinge between your skull and jaw. In the eyes of dentists and over 10 million Americans, TMJ is often associated with TMJ disorder, in which someone experiences pain in their jaw region.

Everyone has a TMJ, but not everyone suffers from a TMJ disorder. There is actually more than one form of TMJ disorder too and each happens for a different reason, such as strain, overuse, illness, or even genetics.

The three most common forms are:

  • Myofascial pain: Myofascial jaw pain encapsulates general jaw pain one experiences with TMJ disorders due to chronic pain disorders.
  • Pain from injury: Anything from a displaced disc, a dislocated jaw, and other injuries fall into this category.
  • Arthritis pain: This category refers to inflammation or degenerative pains within the temporomandibular joint due to things like arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Normal jaw pains are something you shouldn’t worry about, though. Our dentists want to make sure you’re not stressing about something that will handle itself. If you’re experiencing jaw pain, don’t immediately jump to a TMJ-related disorder or a tooth infection.

Give it some time to see if the pain goes away, as normal pain cycles do happen in your jaw. If the pain does not go away after a few days, it might be time to request a visit.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Depending on the severity of your TMJ disorder, treatments will vary. One of the most common causes of TMJ is teeth grinding, or what dentists call “bruxism.” A preventative option to this may be a special nightguard to protect your teeth.

In some cases, you may benefit from TMJ therapy. We’re a big fan of these because they’re pain-free and aimed to restore your mouth to full health.

Depending on the severity of the condition, TMJ surgery may be beneficial. We try to keep this as a last resort, but don’t want you to fear it should surgery become necessary. Here at Hometown Dentistry, we’re more than prepared to make sure your TMJ gets treated right.

TMJ & Kids

As a parent, you may worry about your child dealing with TMJ. But at Hometown Dental, we’re here to help ensure that your child’s jaw stays nice and healthy.

If you believe your child is grinding their teeth at night, suffering from an injury (we know some kids don’t like wearing mouth guards), or showing signs of inflammation in the jaw, we’ll be sure to help them out with the best practices in children’s dentistry.

Hopefully, we have provided you with enough helpful information to make a difference in your life. For more information on dental health, check out our blog page where we have tons of tips from Overcoming Dental Fear and Anxiety to 7 Ways to Protect Against Gum Disease.

Request an Appointment

If you still have questions or want to request an appointment, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (616) 949-5980. Our TMJ dentists at Hometown Dental are here to help you have a smile you love.

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The Basics of TMJ

You may have clicked this blog out of pure curiosity wondering what TMJ could be or maybe you’re actively looking for answers to clear up

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