Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a hinge. It attaches your jaw to the skull. It controls movement in your jaw whenever you do things like eat, talk, or even yawn. Therefore, when there are disruptions or misalignments in this area, temporomandibular joint disease can occur. While cases do vary, this can create a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort for some patients. 

man suffering from TMJ jaw pain

What Causes TMJ?

Several factors cause TMJ. These include:

  • Sustaining a jaw injury.
  • Grinding teeth.
  • Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Clenching your jaw.
  • Suffering from a degenerative disease.
  • Mouth breathers.
  • Having an overbite.

Unfortunately, many patients find it difficult to pinpoint the root cause of their TMJ. Some may not even realize they are suffering from the condition at all. Therefore, it is important to clue into the signs of the condition to understand if you are suffering from it.

Signs & Symptoms 

It’s interesting to note that TMJ patients report different symptoms. Below are some common ones.

  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Pain in the jaw, face, neck, or shoulders.
  • Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw.
  • Jaw locking when you open or close your mouth.
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism).

Having one or more of the signs above may indicate you have TMJ. However, you should get an official diagnosis. As time wears on, your TMJ symptoms can worsen. Other new ones may arise. The good news is that you can reach out to your Anchorage dentist for diagnosis and treatment options. They can also answer any questions you may have or concerns.

3 Treatment Options

The first step towards TMJ pain relief is booking an appointment with your dentist in Anchorage. There is now state-of-the-art technology within dental offices that help with both diagnosis and treatment. Firstly, your dentist will review your smile, and analyze any movements or noises in your jaw. Using advanced systems, they can determine if your jaw is correctly hinging or not.

Once a diagnosis is official, the next step is determining a treatment option. Below are three alternatives. In some cases, your Anchorage TMJ dental specialist may recommend one treatment. At times, they might encourage two options to work together to ease discomfort and pain. 

1. Holistic Approach

Firstly, getting to the underlying cause of the problem is vital in this option. A combination of treatments with a holistic approach will help relieve TMJ symptoms to get you back to living your best life.

2. Neuromuscular Orthodontics

Some believe that orthodontics is a solution to help with smile aesthetics. While this is true, treatments can also help with your TMJ symptoms. Your Anchorage dentist will focus on realigning your bite with this approach. The dental team targets both the hard and soft tissues in your smile to create a new and comfortable bite. Therefore, this realignment essentially corrects your jaw, for good. Therefore, it fixes the problem permanently and reverses TMJ symptoms, offering relief.

3. TMJ Therapy

Lastly, some dental offices use gentle and non-invasive therapy to guide your jaw and teeth back in place. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a technology that releases stress in your jaw muscles and joints. In addition, it vibrates the jaw, which allows it to relax. It also helps your dentist to focus on your smile and provides pain relief.

Learn More On How You Can Relieve TMJ Pain With A Dentist In Anchorage, Alaska, Today!

Do you experience frequent headaches? Not sure what the cause is? Maybe jaw and neck pain go hand-in-hand with these headaches? You may also feel ringing in your ears or tension in your teeth. If you see some of these symptoms in yourself, it might be time to go in for a TMJ assessment. This is where Dr. Richard Crosby and the team at General and Cosmetic Dentistry can help. 

Dr. Crosby in Anchorage specializes in TMJ treatment and can help find the underlying cause of your pain and discomfort. Using up-to-date technology like Myotronics K7 Evaluation System, our dental team can learn more about your jaw and its movements. Sensors track your jaw’s activities in real-time. They can pick up the smallest of noises, as well as any popping or clicking sounds. After the fact, our team creates a treatment plan to get your jaw in its correct position, thanks to the results of the evaluation. Dr. Crosby and the team use many procedures to relieve your TMJ pain. To schedule an appointment, call (907) 917-3871, today. You can also book a visit via our website.