TMJ Treatment - Phoenix

Eliminating Chronic Jaw Pain

The temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ, consists of the muscles and joints that let your mouth open and close. Like any other joint or muscle in the body, the TMJ can become strained or damaged. When this happens, you can experience pain, discomfort, or a limited range of motion. However, you may not realize that your symptoms come from TMJ disorder.

At AZ Family Dental, our TMJ specialists can diagnose the problem and help you find relief. We offer quality care at a fair price in a practice with more than 40 years of experience serving the community.

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TMJ Symptoms

TMJ can cause a vast number of symptoms in many parts of your body — not just your jaw. The pain and discomfort caused by TMJ also feel different for patients. Some of our patients experience stabbing pain, while others have a dull ache around the clock. A person who has TMJ may have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Ear pain
  • Congestion
  • Jaw pain
  • Tooth pain
  • Neck and back pain
  • Numbness of the arms, hands, and fingers
  • Shoulder pain
  • Back pain

The issues caused by your TMJ disorder depend on the cause of your condition. For example, if you have a TMJ disorder due to poor posture, you may also experience neck and back pain. A misaligned jaw can put pressure on your teeth, creating sensitivity and pain. The dentists at AZ Family Dental can help you identify why you have TMJ disorder and find the right treatment.

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Why Choose AZ Family Dental?

At AZ Family Dental, we help patients in the Greater Phoenix, AZ, area achieve their best smiles. Our team members dedicate themselves to learning about the best practices in dentistry to give you top-quality care. From our friendly office staff to our passionate hygienists and dentists, you will find that we all care about your well-being. We treat each patient with professionalism, care, and attentiveness so you can feel like a respected patient and an informal member of the family.

If you need a dental practice to diagnose TMJ and handle your checkups and cleanings, we can provide a full range of services. We specialize in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, preventive care, and periodontal care. Let’s work together to create a treatment plan that keeps your mouth and teeth healthy.

At-Home TMJ Treatment Recommendations

During your appointment at our office, one of our dentists will examine your jaw, checking for discomfort, clicking, and limited motion. If they determine that you have a TMJ disorder, they will first focus on the pain. In most situations, they will recommend home remedies and lifestyle changes. Many cases of TMJ have causes you can address by changing your habits. You and one of our dentists may try these strategies:

  • Stop chewing gum or other chewy foods
  • Avoid taking large bites of food that extend the jaw
  • Correct your posture to relieve pressure on your jaw
  • Perform gentle jaw stretches that relax and strengthen the muscle
  • Practice relaxation techniques that decrease jaw tension
  • Apply ice or a warm, damp washcloth to the affected area

With home remedies and new habits, many patients can find relief from their TMJ disorder. If you have severe symptoms or they persist after trying these treatments, you may need another option.

TMJ Treatment Options Available From AZ Family Dental

When you still have symptoms after trying home remedies, one of our dentists will look for ways to put less pressure on your TMJ. You may receive one of the following treatments:

  • Bite correction: Our dentists can provide a variety of treatments that realign your jaw and relieve the tension in your TMJ. Bridges and crowns address uneven sections of your bite. We can also refer you to an orthodontist who can provide braces or a retainer that changes your bite shape.
  • Mouthguard: When you have TMJ as a result of teeth grinding, our dentists can make you a custom mouthguard or splint. You can wear it at night for teeth grinding that occurs in your sleep.
  • TMJ splint: A TMJ splint combines the benefits of bite realignment and a mouthguard. You wear it throughout the day to change the shape of your bite and protect your jaw from grinding.

The dental professionals at AZ Family Dental will help you find a treatment that suits your symptoms and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions for TMJ Disorder Treatment

What is TMJ disorder?

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder cause dysfunction of the chewing muscles and joints connected to your lower jaw. It’s typically caused by bruxism (teeth grinding), an injury to the jaw, or arthritis.

Can TMJ disorder be treated?

Several treatments are available for TMJ, including certain medications, diet changes, heating pads/ice packs, physical therapy, jaw surgeries, and custom mouthguards. Because TMJ can be caused by teeth grinding, meditation and mindfulness can help lower stress levels and deter the habit.

Chiropractors can also work with patients to manipulate soft tissue to relieve pain. It’s recommended you try more conservative treatments first to avoid the need for surgery to prevent more invasive procedures and complication risks.

What is the best treatment for TMJ disorder?

Orthodontics can use crown and bridge work to fix the jaw’s alignment and balance the bite through a procedure called occlusal adjustment. This treats the actual cause of TMJ rather than focusing on suppressing the discomfort of the disorder.

What causes TMJ to flare up?

Inflammation and strained muscles are the primary reasons for TMJ flaring up. Muscle tension can occur due to stress and anxiety, triggering teeth grinding or an arthritis outburst. Small actions can also prompt a flare-up, including yawning, eating, talking, and chewing gum.

How long does it take for TMJ inflammation to go away?

TMJ inflammation can last as little as a few days or up to three weeks. For more severe conditions, TMJ may prolong for months or years, causing daily discomfort. Likewise, untreated TMJ may come back after symptoms disappear.

Can TMJ cause ears to feel clogged?

Some patients with TMJ may experience hearing problems, ear pain/pressure, or clogged ears, similar to the symptoms of an ear infection or allergies. Treatment for this involves using orthotic tools to decompress the joint to restore ear function and hearing.