TMJ Therapy Can Relieve Painful Symptoms and Benefit Oral Health

smiling womanThe temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, connect the jaw to the skull, allowing the jaw to move vertically and horizontally. When they become strained or inflamed, it can result in considerable discomfort and other issues. At Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates, we offer TMJ therapy to help patients in Wilmington, DE, find lasting relief from painful, often debilitating symptoms. Dr. Jeffrey J. Emmi can perform an accurate diagnosis and recommend treatment during a personal consultation. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

What is TMJ Disorder?

The TMJs are two of the busiest and most complex joints in the body, and can be subjected to intense daily strain. Habitually clenching or grinding teeth can cause the joints and ligaments to become damaged or inflamed. Injury and malocclusion (misaligned teeth) can also result in TMJ complications. TMJ disorder can involve many painful symptoms, including:
  • Migraines
  • Jaw pain or tension
  • Tingling extremities
  • Neck or shoulder tension
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Clicking or popping during jaw movement
When these symptoms are left untreated, it can greatly affect your oral health and quality of life. Dr. Emmi works closely with patients to identify the specific cause of their symptoms in order to provide the most effective treatment.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

Treatment for TMJ disorder is prescribed according to what is causing strain or inflammation. The most common causes of TMJ disorder include:
  • Cartilage wear and tear
  • Dislocation of the TMJs
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Misaligned bite
  • Arthritis

During a consultation, Dr. Emmi can use a variety of diagnostic techniques to help determine the cause of your TMJ disorder.

TMJ Therapy

There are several non-surgical treatment options available to patients suffering from TMJ disorder. Often, Dr. Emmi will prescribe a special oral splint, a type of mouth guard, to provide relief. These custom-made oral appliances are typically worn at night to help prevent patients from clenching or grinding their teeth. Splints are made of comfortable plastic and will not interfere with previous dental work. In some cases, Dr. Emmi may recommend orthodontics as a means of aligning a patient's bite to achieve a proper balance between the upper and lower jaws, reducing strain on the TMJs.
 
In other cases, Dr. Emmi may use a dental restoration, such as a crown or bridge, to help restore balance to the bite. Some patients may also benefit from specially prescribed exercises or simple lifestyle changes as part of an individualized TMJ therapy plan. In serious cases, if a patient does respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be recommended. Dr. Emmi refers this treatment to a trusted surgeon.

Schedule Your Personal Consultation

If you suffer from ongoing headaches, jaw pain, neck or shoulder discomfort, difficulties with chewing, and other symptoms, you may be suffering with TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can seriously affect your quality of life, but fortunately, Dr. Emmi can help. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your prognosis. Contact Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates to schedule a consultation.

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