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TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)

Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common situation affecting many individuals. TMJ is characterized by variable jaw pain, extensive headaches, off and on ringing in the ears, and grinding of the teeth. The majority of TMJ sufferers are not aware that the prime reasons for these issues is something that most dentists can effectively assist in.

The symptoms of TMJ are difficult to deal with and may be a distraction in every day life. The comfort of the patient is of primary concern to our dental practice, so the relief of pain is the first consideration of the dentist. Dr. Braithwaite is able to diagnose, test, and administer a treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of the TMJ problem.

Why treat TMJ?

Most TMJ sufferers indicate that their symptoms become worse during periods of ongoing and sudden stress, and that sudden indications of the condition can lead to dizziness and neck pain.

The typical cause of TMJ is the misalignment of teeth. Occasionally, it is possible for the dentist to adjust and realign the teeth foregoing expensive or painful surgeries. The adjustment/realignment can eleviate jaw pain, extreme headaches, and dizziness.

The clenching symptom is very common and generally happens at night. The grinding will usually wear the structure of the teeth and may lead to more severe dental problems in the future. TMJ problems that are untreated are the leading factors in loose teeth and eroded jawbones.

It is vital for those experiencing the signs and symptoms of TMJ to visit Dr. Braithwaite for a precise diagnosis.

What does TMJ treatment involve?

TMJ could be a result of several different problems. Misalignment of teeth is the most common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patients teeth relationship, take x-rays, and review the patient's history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.

Once a confirmed diagnosis is made, there are a couple of ways in which help can be given. A specially fitted mouth guard can be made to alleviate teeth grinding at night. A tooth alignment analysis will be suggested by the dentist. Dr. Braithwaite may also suggest relaxation methods which can lessen the stressful effects. As a final alternative, Dr. Braithwaite may also prescribe muscle relaxers.

A better choice is to change the shape of the teeth and eliminate the poor alignment of the teeth completely, often called "realignment." This is very helpful since it reduces TMJ symptoms and may help the outward appearance of the teeth as well. Realignment involves changing the position between how the lower teeth align with the upper teeth. This can mean redoing the restorations and/or aligning the natural teeth also. It is not uncomfortable, and it is one that Dr. Braithwaite has performed with proven success many times. As with any new procedure, Dr. Braithwaite will be available to answer questions and discuss options, treatments, and symptoms.

If you are noticing any symptoms of TMJ, we suggest you call our office ASAP to make an appointment.