TMJ Treatment at 7 Pearls Dental

Pain Relief for TMJ Disorder in Wickham

Your temporomandibular joint or TMJ is the hinge area where your jaw, along with associated muscles and ligaments, attach just in front of your ear. The TMJ is responsible for thousands of movements per day, whether you’re talking, laughing or chewing.

An overused or dysfunctional TMJ joint can lead to chronic pain or TMJ disorder (TMD).

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

Woman waking up with jaw pain

  • Popping or clicking noises when you open and close your mouth
  • A limited range of motion
  • Earaches
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Flat, worn or sharp teeth
  • Sore jaw, neck, shoulders or back when you wake up in the morning
  • Broken dental work
  • Jaw deviation from side to side when opening/closing
  • Chronic stress or a stressful lifestyle

Overuse of the TMJ is one of the primary causes of TMJ-induced headaches and migraines. If everyday muscle fatigue is a concern, it may be due to a condition known as bruxism (chronic teeth clenching and grinding).

There are several strategies that can be used to reduce bruxism, thereby alleviating the muscle tension and joint pain associated with TMD. The first is a bite splint or occlusal guard that’s worn while you’re sleeping or during the day.

When you wear this device, it prevents the TMJ from fully engaging or the teeth from coming into contact with one another. As a result, your jaw is “trained” to position itself in a relaxing state, thereby reducing muscle tension or teeth grinding.

Other options for treating TMJ disorder include injectables. While commonly used for cosmetic purposes, products such as anti-wrinkle injectables and dermal fillers also serve as natural muscle relaxants. When applied around the TMJ and into the facial muscles that trigger headaches, symptoms can be reduced or eliminated for up to a few months at a time.

In addition to wearing your bite splint or a night guard, there are a few other ways to reduce your TMJ flare-ups and the pain they cause. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid chewing gum or eating firmer-textured foods, as this may strain your joint.
  • Make conscious observations as to your jaw’s resting position throughout the day; remember “lips together, teeth apart”.
  • Alternate a warm and cold compress on the side of your joint pain to reduce swelling.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories as directed.

A malocclusion — or misaligned bite — is another factor that can contribute to the development of TMD. It occurs when the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly, requiring the TMJ to make atypical movements throughout the day in regard to chewing and biting into food. Over time, these tiny variances in your jaw’s motion can lead to cumulative pain.

Electing to correct your bite alignment with orthodontic therapy is part of a holistic approach to treating TMJ disorder without surgery or non-reversible therapies.

Think You Have TMD? Get Answers Today!

7 Pearls Dental is open seven days a week. Contact us today for a new patient exam.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

TMJ Treatment Wickham, Newcastle, Hamilton East, Newcastle West NSW | (02) 4077 3821