Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a common condition affecting many Americans. While every case of TMJ is unique, our Spring-area patients usually report the same concern: serious, almost debilitating pain.
The good news if you're suffering from TMJ is that relief is available. You don't have to just deal with the pain for the rest of your life. At Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry, we offer a variety of TMJ treatments as part of our comprehensive dental services.
We urge you to contact us as soon as possible if you think you might have TMJ. Don't suffer any longer than you have to.
If you live in Spring, Conroe or the surrounding North Houston communities and you're seeking relief from terrible TMJ pain, please call Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry today at 281-320-2000.
What is TMJ?
TMJ (sometimes called “TMD”) is a quick and easy way of referring to temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition occurs when your jaw isn’t properly aligned.
Underneath your face and jaw lies a complex, inter-connected network of nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. This intricate system conveys signals and sensations throughout your entire upper body.
Your temporomandibular joint is the ball and socket joint that connects your jaw to your skull. If you place your fingers right next to your ears and open and close your mouth, you'll feel the joint in action. When the joint falls out of alignment – usually as the result of a bite misalignment that places unnatural stress on the region – it becomes irritated.
The important thing to remember is that irritation does not stay near your jaw. There is a cascading effect, where a simple jaw misalignment can result in serious pain and discomfort in other regions of your body.
Common TMJ Symptoms
One of the frustrations with TMJ is that its symptoms are easy to confuse with those of other less serious, less chronic conditions. This makes it difficult to diagnose TMJ, and until your condition is properly diagnosed, you cannot find relief.
Be on the lookout for some of the following common symptoms of TMJ:
- Chronic migraine headaches
- Jaw pain
- Upper back and shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Locking of the jaw joint
- Facial pain
- Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw
- Limited jaw mobility
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty chewing
Obviously, not every TMJ patient will experience every one of these symptoms. Similarly, not every headache is the result of TMJ. But if you've tried everything to address these issues and haven't found any success, you benefit from a TMJ evaluation with one of our dentists. Dr. Pagano has been recognized for his work with TMJ, and he understands how to diagnose and then treat the condition.
TMJ Treatment Options
TMJ treatment is typically completed in two phases. During the first phase, our dentists will help relieve the pain you’re experiencing. This can be achieved using medications such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen or aspirin), or with muscle relaxants.
Once your pain is being managed, we’ll move to the second phase of your treatment. This consists of correcting the underlying issue causing your bite to become misaligned. By restoring your jaw to its ideal resting position and realigning your bite, we can help eliminate your TMJ issues once and for all.
Depending on the nature and severity of your TMJ, our dentists may recommend one of the following treatment options:
- Mouthguard to be worn at night, preventing you from grinding your teeth and providing comfort to your teeth, muscles and joints while you sleep
- Neuromuscular orthotic device to restore your bite to its ideal resting position
- Dental restorations to move your bite into proper alignment
- Orthodontics to restore a properly aligned bite
Contact our North Houston TMJ Dentists
If you live in Conroe, Spring or anywhere else in our lovely North Houston community, please call Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry today at 281-320-2000 to schedule your TMJ evaluation.