Your jaw contains a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that enables you to speak, eat, sneeze, yawn, laugh, and many other functions. You probably do not spend a lot of time thinking about this jaw joint unless it starts to cause you pain or other common symptoms. When you cannot find relief from TMJ symptoms on your own, you will need to see a dentist in Marietta, GA, to help diagnose and treat the condition. This is just one of the many services we offer at Shallowford Dental.
Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Your dentist in Marietta, GA, may diagnose you with TMJ disorder if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Conscious or unconscious clenching of your teeth, which may occur when you are asleep or under a lot of stress
- Pain that occurs frequently in your head, jaw, or neck
- You notice popping or clicking sounds nearly every time you open your jaw
- You notice that your jaw locks temporarily when you try to open it
- When you chew your food, some of your teeth no longer come in contact
- Some of your teeth are broken, extra sensitive, or worn down
- Pain in other areas of your body that feels like it could be arthritis
- Improper alignment of your teeth due to previous orthodontic treatment or dental restorations that no longer fit properly
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Marietta, GA, if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for several days without relief from non-prescription pain relievers or other home remedies.
How Your Marietta, GA, Dentist Treats TMJ Disorder
It is our goal at Shallowford Dental to treat you in the most conservative manner possible. When you visit our office, your Marietta, GA, dentist will first ask you several questions about your TMJ symptoms and other medical history. Next, our dentist will take several X-rays of your jaw to try to pinpoint the source of the problem.
One suggestion we may offer is to correct misalignment of teeth. This can provide immediate pain relief in addition to the improved alignment. Your dentist may also recommend wearing a night guard at home while you sleep. This will prevent you from clenching your teeth, which might be all you need to do to stop TMJ pain. Some other possible solutions for your TMJ pain include:
- Applying ice or heat to your sore jaw
- Resting your jaw bones by talking as little as possible for a few days
- Eating a diet of mostly soft foods
- Reducing the stress in your life wherever possible
- Paying attention to your posture and trying to sit and walk as straight as you can
- Holding your teeth in a position so the bottom and top rows remain apart for a while when you are not eating or speaking
Oral surgery is always a last resort for treatment of TMJ disorder. You may actually have another issue when your pain gets to this point. Your dentist will advise you of the proper diagnosis as well as the best methods to recover. Call us today at 770-578-1331 or reach out online.