Find Relief From Your Symptoms with TMJ Treatment
Dr. Wesley O. Lynch offers many treatment options for patients struggling with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Sufferers often experience facial pain and tenderness, and general difficulty with activities that involve jaw movement, including chewing, biting, or yawning. TMJ disorder is a common condition that can have far-reaching effects, but there are treatment options available. If you believe that you may have the disorder and would like to learn more about TMJ treatment, contact our Ruston, LA, office to schedule a consultation.
What causes TMJ disorder?
The TMJs are located in front of the ears, where they connect the jaw bone to the skull. TMJ disorder, an inflammation of the TMJs, can result from erosion of the discs that cushion the joints, damage to the cartilage caused by arthritis, trauma to the joint, and other issues. Overuse of the muscles, including clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism), contributes to the disorder. Stressful situations often aggravate the pain. TMJ disorder is most prevalent among women between the ages of 20 and 40, but it can affect male and female patients at any age.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Pain in the head, ear, neck, jaw, and face are common indications of TMJ disorder. Other symptoms include a painful clicking sound upon opening and closing your mouth, jaw stiffness, and sensitive teeth without evidence of dental problems.
How is TMJ disorder diagnosed?
During your comprehensive exam, Dr. Lynch will observe your jaw movement as you open and close your mouth and ask you to identify areas of discomfort in and around your jaw. An imaging study, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, may be used as a tool to identify problems with the joint's disc. In some cases, the cause of TMJ disorder is unknown, and in some cases, symptoms can improve without treatment.
What does TMJ treatment involve?
After completing a careful examination, Dr. Lynch may recommend an oral splint to treat your disorder. Based on your unique cause, Dr. Lynch will make an appropriate recommendation on the type of splint that will work best for you, as well as when to wear your splint and for how long. An occluding splint, also called a stabilization splint, realigns the upper and lower teeth. A non-occluding splint, also called a simple splint, prevents teeth clenching to open the jaw and relieve your joints and muscles of tension. Patients who do not respond to splint therapy may be referred to an orthodontist or maxillofacial surgeon to discuss other treatment options, such as joint injections, braces, or surgery. However, Dr. Lynch firmly believes in splint therapy as a highly effective method for treating TMJ disorder.
If you are struggling with symptoms of TMJ disorder, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lynch. During your visit, Dr. Lynch will perform a complete exam and discuss how splint therapy may help to alleviate the pain and discomfort you are experiencing.