The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) consists of a small disc and a ball and socket. The disc acts as a cushion as the jawbone slides and rotates within the temporal bone of the skull in front of each ear.
The TMJ and the muscles of this area of the face affect chewing, bite (occlusion), and jaw movement. TMD occurs when this joint is not functioning properly. A common cause of TMJ disorder is a bite problem displacing the lower jaw out of its sockets. Other causes of TMD are head or face injuries, teeth clenching, and wear and tear on teeth from teeth grinding or aging. In all cases, TMD can be very painful. Denver dentists Dr. Paul Bell and Dr. Adam Almeida can diagnose the causes of TMJ disorders and recommend the appropriate TMJ treatment.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
- Pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck, or shoulders.
- A clicking, popping, or locking of jaw during movement.
- Teeth that don’t fit together well.
- Toothaches, headaches, neck aches, earaches, and hearing problems.
- Soreness or swelling in jaw or facial muscles.
What Causes TMD?
There are a number of situations and conditions that can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder:
- Misalignment (malocclusion) of or trauma to the teeth or jaw.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism).
- Bad posture.
- Elevated levels of stress or anxiety.
- Arthritis and other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders, including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
- Orthodontic braces.
- Excessive chewing.
Schedule a Consultation for TMJ Treatment Near Denver
There are many TMJ treatments that will help alleviate pain and prevent further damage of the TMJ. One common treatment is a splint which helps move the jaw, ligaments, and muscles back into their correct places, so the joint can function properly.
If symptoms persist, reconstructive dentistry, comprehensive orthodontics, or jaw surgery may be necessary. Treatments vary in length depending on the severity of the joint and bone breakdown.
If you feel you are experiencing these TMD related symptoms, contact Denver’s Almeida & Bell Dental Cosmetic, Implant & Sedation Dentistry in Lone Tree (east of Highlands Ranch) for TMJ treatment today by calling 303-858-9000 or sending the simple form on this page. We will be glad to contact you.