The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints at the sides of your jaw that work with muscles to open your mouth and close it as you talk and eat. The whole TMJ area includes bones, discs, ligaments, and muscles that work together. You can have TMJ disorders that get in the way of this intertwined system, causing problems with everyday actions and discomfort. TMJ is a chronic condition that occurs when the components of the jaw joint become irritated and inflamed. TMJ usually occurs when the bite mechanics are not balanced, resulting in uneven strain and stress on jaw joints that produces inflammation in and around the joint.
Some of the symptoms most often associated with a TMJ disorder include:
A clicking sound or a grating sensation when opening and closing the mouth can also be a sign of a TMJ disorder. A person should also consult a doctor if it becomes increasingly difficult to open and close the mouth, if he or she experiences pain in the jaw or face, or headaches for more than a couple of days.
Dr. Green has extensive training in the diagnoses and treatment of TMJ disorders. Patients benefit from his expertise in providing gradual and gentle treatments to realign the bite, relieving the pressure on the joint responsible for the inflammation and pain. Some of the treatments available include a bite plane or splint that is worn at night or while at home. Dr. Green might also suggest moist heat, ultrasound treatment, or the use of a TENS machine to help relax the jaw. In some situations, depending on the location of the misalignment, he may use therapies like tooth contouring or dental bonding to make adjustments to the teeth.
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