The jawbone’s connected to the head bone—and that’s not just a well-known tune. The two really are connected by a complex system called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. When your TMJs (there is one on both sides of your face just in front of your ears) work correctly, you can easily and comfortably open and close your mouth to speak, chew, laugh and yawn. But if you have jaw joint problems, then these simple tasks may become very uncomfortable. Fortunately, there is a solution. Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel provides treatment for TMJ in Clinton Township. She is able to evaluate your symptoms, give you a diagnosis and recommend treatments to address what’s causing your TMJ dysfunction.
Why is My Jaw Bothering Me?
There are a number of circumstances that may contribution to your jaw joint problems. These include:
- Injury to the jaw
- A bite that is out of balance
- Teeth grinding at night or during the day
- Being double-jointed
- Singing, extemporaneous speaking or other activities that require you to open and close your mouth repetitively
Ultimately, one or more of these factors cause the TMJ to change shape and become unstable when the joint moves. A small cushioning disc positioned between your jaw bone and the base of your skull is held in place by ligaments. If these ligaments become stretched, then the disc may dislodge and move in front of or behind the jawbone.
Minimizing the Risk of Additional Jaw Joint Problems
Clinton Township dentist Dr. Salzberg-Siegel will assess your TMJs to determine your risk factors and then develop a management protocol for you. This plan might include:
- Balancing your bite
- Treating teeth grinding with an oral appliance
- Reducing stress on your jaw with oral splints, medication or lifestyle counseling
- Practicing jaw exercises in order to increase the mobility of your jaw
All of these treatment methods require your committed participation. For instance, if Dr. Mindy prescribes a custom-fitted oral appliance for you to wear at night in order to reduce the negative effects of teeth grinding, then you must wear your night guard consistently. Failure to do so will only mean the continuation of your uncomfortable symptoms. Likewise, practices to reduce stress such as yoga and meditation can be very helpful if a regular scheduled is set up and followed.
Alternatively, not following your jaw joint management protocol can lead to chronic pain and greater difficulty chewing and speaking.
Call Our Office Today
If you or a loved one is experiencing jaw joint problems, contact the Clinton Township dental practice of Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel.