The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull to enable you to open your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the temporomandibular joint is damaged or injured, causing a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you are having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with Dr. James Mills to see if you have TMD. At our office, Market Common Dentistry in Myrtle Beach, SC, Dr. Mills utilizes innovative tools to assess and care for your TMD to alleviate symptoms. Your TMJ treatment will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite alteration, dental restorations, and much more.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction could be brought about by an injury to the jaw, years of jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism), or dental malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth). Other conditions that can result in TMD include a tumor in the temporomandibular joint or arthritis. Sometimes the reason behind TMD cannot be determined, but if you are having symptoms and signs, Dr. Mills can diagnose and care for your TMJ. A few of the most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the jaw joint, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling as though your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin around your ears. Another sign is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking when you use your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose a temporomandibular dysfunction, Dr. Mills will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate how your jaw moves and search for indicators of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment. He will also palpate the jaw joint and lower face for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Mills might request digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that will determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that might incorporate a mouth guard, teeth straightening, or restorative dentistry (bridges, crowns, and dentures).
Along with treatments to address the root cause of your temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Dr. Mills may suggest different strategies to alleviate pain and other problems on your own. This may include a soft food diet, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Mills may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medication to relax your facial muscles (and to alleviate pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to go to follow-up appointments so Dr. Mills can assess the results of your TMJ treatment. If your therapy is not working, he might look at another strategy. As soon as your TMD is fully treated, you should still schedule yearly dental examinations at Market Common Dentistry to keep your jaw and teeth healthy.
Plan Your Procedure
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your jaw can make it hard to eat, talk, and enjoy your everyday life. Since there are lots of potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat TMD, schedule an appointment with Dr. James Mills in Myrtle Beach, SC. He will perform a detailed exam prior to diagnosing the problem and talking about treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at Market Common Dentistry to learn more and make an appointment.