The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the jawbone to the temporal bones of each ear. Acting like hinges, these joints allow your jaw to move and assist in actions such as talking, chewing, or yawning.
What Are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders cause pain or stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. They affect around 35 million people in the United States and arise from a variety of factors, such as genetic predisposition, arthritis, or injury.
TMJ disorders are most prevalent in patients between the ages of 20 and 40, and women are up to five times more likely to be diagnosed than men—though it can affect both men and women of any age. TMJ discomfort is also associated with tooth clenching or grinding, known as bruxism.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
Common symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Pain in or around the ear
- Clicking, grating, or popping sounds while chewing or opening the mouth
- Tension in the neck, shoulders, or jaw
- Stiff or locking sensation in the jaw
- Tiredness or swelling of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Mismatched bite
- Headaches and dizziness
- Earaches or hearing problems
- Ringing in the ears—tinnitus
In minor cases, a TMJ disorder may resolve on its own or with self-managed care such as a cold compress or an over-the-counter pain reliever. In more severe cases, a TMJ disorder can greatly interfere with daily life and cause intense pain or discomfort that lasts for days, months, or even years.
How to Treat TMJ Disorders
When a TMJ disorder starts affecting your daily life, it’s time to seek treatment. With professional treatment, you can soothe the painful symptoms and get your life back.
Your orthodontist will evaluate your condition by:
- Listening to or feeling your jaw as you open and close your mouth
- Evaluating your jaw’s total range of motion
- Pressing your jaw to find points of tension or pain
- Performing X-ray, CT, or MRI scans to investigate TMJ damage
Once diagnosed, talk to your orthodontist about the best treatment plan for you. Treatments for TMJ disorders include physical therapy, oral surgery, and orthodontic appliances.
Where Can I Get Treated for TMJ in Las Vegas?
If you live in the Las Vegas area and are suffering from TMJ symptoms, Dr. Hansen and his experienced dental health team at Hansen Ortho will help determine the right treatment for you. Dr. Hansen is a leading orthodontist in Las Vegas and is knowledgeable about the latest TMJ treatment plans. TMJ treatment methods at Hansen Ortho include:
- Using a mouth guard or splint to relieve TMJ symptoms and prevent tooth grinding
- Using braces or alternatives such as Invisalign to manage crowding or misalignment
Your friendly dental health professionals at Hansen Ortho will review your diagnosis and set up the best and most affordable treatment plan to fit your needs. You don’t have to battle the painful TMJ symptoms on your own. Hansen Ortho is committed to providing you with the best TMJ treatment in Las Vegas. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your appointment.