TMJ Treatment Can Relieve Painful Symptoms
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is caused when the joints connecting the upper and lower jaw become inflamed or irritated. This can cause clenching, migraines, neck and back pain, and other disruptive and painful symptoms. Drs. Don Czaplicki, Cathleen Czaplicki, and Heather Harris at Czaplicki Family Dentistry offer effective TMJ treatment at our Milwaukee, WI, office. During a consultation, we will conduct a thorough diagnosis using advanced techniques. For the right cases, we can provide dental appliances to gently realign your bite and manage the painful symptoms of the disorder.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The TMJs connect your jaw to your skull, allowing you to open and close your mouth and also move the jaw side to side. TMJ disorder occurs when these joints are subjected to excessive strain for an ongoing period of time. One cause of the condition is an imbalanced bite, which causes your TMJs to overcompensate, leading to pain and other health problems.
Other Causes of TMJ Disorder
The exact cause of TMJ disorder can be elusive as there are multiple factors that can contribute to its development. However, stress and excessive pressure are the main causes of damage to your jaw joints. Other causes may include:
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Injuries to the jaw
Symptoms and Diagnosis
An imbalanced bite and inflamed jaw joints can lead to:
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Teeth grinding
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Sore facial muscles
- Locked jaw
- Popping sound when opening and closing your mouth
The dentists at Czaplicki Family Dentistry use the latest technology in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder and craniofacial pain. We will examine your bite to determine if malocclusion is the cause. We also use computerized techniques for diagnosis that include:
- Joint Vibration Analysis: This tool is used to measure joint sound and identify health concerns. Unlike a smooth, healthy joint which creates little sound, roughened surfaces can create friction and point to inflammation.
- Electromyography (EMG): This diagnostic procedure is used to measure muscle activity. By identifying the muscles that cause facial pain and their optimal resting position, your doctor can help to decrease muscle spasms.
- Computerized Jaw Tracking: A tracking system can measure and record movement of the jaw and TMJs. This can help your doctor find the most comfortable and healthy alignment between the upper and lower jaw.
Drs. Czaplicki and Harris have extensive experience providing care for TMJ disorder. We often recommend dental appliances to correct your bite and gently realign your jaw during sleep. Our customized dental appliances are comfortable, protect the health of your teeth, and can relieve symptoms such as clenching and grinding.
Our customized dental appliances are comfortable, protect the health of your teeth, and can relieve symptoms such as clenching and grinding.
Your doctor can also recommend trying conservative treatments and lifestyle changes, such as eating soft foods, using heat packs on the jaw to alleviate inflammation, and avoiding chewing gum and eating caramels and candies. Your doctor may also consider prescribing muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Restore Your Jaw Health
If you are experiencing symptoms such as headaches, sore jaw muscles, or popping and clicking in your jaw, our doctors can perform a comprehensive exam to determine if you have TMJ disorder, and provide you with a custom-made mouth guard to relieve your symptoms. Contact us to learn more and to schedule your consultation.