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Is Your Jaw Pain TMJ?

Dr. Dominic Roppa at Smile Viera in Rockledge, FL offers restorative dentistry and a range of treatments to address TMJ and alleviate the tension and pain it causes. Dr. Roppa has remained dedicated to expanding his knowledge and expertise in many areas of dentistry for better patient results.

What is TMJ? 

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is also known as TMJ.  The temporomandibular joint acts similar to a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to your skull. There is one joint on each side of the jaw. While the most common symptom of TMJ is cracking or popping in the joint, pain in the jaw muscles, and in the jaw joint, it’s not uncommon for pain and symptoms to spread around the ears to the head, neck, shoulders, and back. 

Symptoms of TMJ 

You may have TMJ if you experience clicking,  popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint, being unable to open the mouth comfortably, “locking” when you attempt to open your mouth, chronic headaches, facial pain, neck pain or stiffness, and ringing in the ears or ear pain or decreased hearing.

TMJ is often linked to stress or tension being held in the jaws. Clenching and grinding can contribute to TMJ symptoms.

Causes of TMJ

There is evidence that the relationship between the upper and lower teeth near the TM joints as well as the supporting ligaments and muscles is a significant factor. Other contributing factors may include trauma or impact, muscle hyperactivity, poor posture, or stress.

TMJ Treatment

TMJ is often successfully treated with skilled physical therapy. Stretching both the joint capsule and surrounding muscles facilitates jaw range of motion, allowing a return to normal chewing and talking.

Rehabilitation or dental restorations for worn, damaged, or missing teeth may be involved. The goal of treatment is to not only relieve symptoms that can affect daily life but to restore comfort, balance, and longevity to the bite and dental health.  

Slight modifications to daily activities and conscious awareness of the jaw and neck position produce long-term pain relief. Effective treatment may be as simple as an “occlusal adjustment,” a restorative procedure to slightly recontour one or more teeth to adjust the bite’s balance.

These steps follow a minimalist approach in treating TMJ disorders which include eating softer foods, avoiding nail-biting and chewing gum, applying heat to the affected area, and practicing relaxation techniques.

If your symptoms are more severe, Other treatments may be recommended to help alleviate pain and tension, such as exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles, medications prescribed by your dentist, anxiety medication, or a mouthguard. In some cases, your dentist may suggest correcting an uneven bite with an adjustment or reshaping teeth. Orthodontic treatment might be necessary if it’s severe enough.

TMJ Treatment in Rockledge FL

If you are in the Rockledge, FL area and you found yourself struggling with stress or any of these symptoms, Call and schedule an appointment with us so we can help relieve symptoms and help your oral health.