Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull to enable you to close and open your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the TMJ is damaged or injured, resulting in a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). Having pain in your shoulder, neck, or face and hearing popping or clicking sounds whenever you open your jaw can all be signs of TMD. If you notice any of these problems, along with limited mobility in the jaw, then schedule an appointment with board-certified dentist Dr. Matthew Wolfe. At his office, Signature Dentistry of Rochester in Rochester Hills, MI, Dr. Wolfe will perform a complete occlusal exam to study your bite, which is one of the primary causes of the disorder. Your individual TMJ therapy will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few treatment options you may be presented with are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite modifications, and dental restorations.
Temporomandibular joint disorder might be brought on by an injury to the jaw, years of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw (called bruxism), or a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion). Other conditions that could lead to TMD include tumors in the TMJ, or arthritis. Sometimes the reason for TMD is uncertain, but if you believe that you are showing the signs and symptoms of TMD, Dr. Wolfe can diagnose you and properly care for your TMJ. The most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain in the jaw, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling as if your jaw is rigid or stuck, frequent headaches that begin near your ears, and hearing popping, cracking, or clicking when you open your jaw. Another symptom of TMD, which is also a contributing cause, is teeth clenching or teeth grinding, often accompanied by tooth wear.
What To Expect
To diagnose a temporomandibular disorder, Dr. Wolfe will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate the alignment of your bite and how your jaw moves, and then he will look for indications of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. He will also palpate the jawbone and lower face for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Wolfe may order digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that could determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that could incorporate a mouth guard, bite correction procedures, or restorations (crowns or bridges).
Along with treatments to fix the root cause of your temporomandibular joint disorder, Dr. Wolfe may suggest different means to ease pain and other problems. This may include a liquid or soft food diet, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and various relaxation methods. Dr. Wolfe may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medication to relax your muscles (and to ease pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to attend your follow-up appointments so that Dr. Wolfe can assess the results from your TMJ treatment. When your TMD has been treated, you should continue to schedule your yearly dental examinations at Signature Dentistry of Rochester so Dr. Wolfe can monitor your progress and make sure your overall oral health is in good condition.
Dental insurance policies for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD remedies will vary so we'll get in touch with your provider to figure out your personal expenses. Whether you do or don't have dental insurance, Dr. Wolfe will discuss price quotes when explaining treatment choices. To ensure that your care is affordable, Signature Dentistry of Rochester accepts many payment options, as well as medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can make it tough to eat, talk, and enjoy your day-to-day life. Since there are many potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), make an appointment with Dr. Matthew Wolfe at his practice in Rochester Hills, MI. He will perform a complete occlusal exam prior to your diagnosis and discuss various treatment options. Get in touch with our staff at Signature Dentistry of Rochester to learn more and to schedule an appointment.