What Is the Dentist's Role in Treating TMJ?

Posted: February 29, 2024

Treating TMJOptions for treating TMJ (conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint) are varied, depending on the factors behind it. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. A wide variety of conditions, from arthritis and stress to genetics and teeth grinding, can contribute to the symptoms of TMJ. So, what’s your dentist’s role in treating TMJ?

Before Treating TMJ, What are The Symptoms?

Your TMJ is an important joint that you undoubtedly use every day. It allows your jaw to open and close, which enables you to perform daily functions like talking, chewing, and even yawning. When it’s not working correctly, you can experience symptoms like:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness, especially at the joint where it hinges on your skull
  • Aching pain near one or both ears
  • An uncomfortable feeling (not necessarily pain) when you chew
  • Pain in your face
  • Clicking, popping, grating, or locking of the jaw joint, with or without pain

As you can see, not all TMJ symptoms are painful. But they can be uncomfortable and troublesome. If these symptoms sound like you or a loved one, it’s time to visit your dentist.

Your Dentist’s Role in Treating TMJ: Assessment

Your dentist plays a crucial role in both diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. Your dentist is typically the first line of assessment to determine what’s causing your temporomandibular joint symptoms. Their examination typically includes thoroughly checking your jaw, teeth, and bite to identify any abnormalities or contributing factors.

Your Dentist’s Role in Treating TMJ: Treatment Plans

Based on their diagnosis of your specific jaw joint and evaluation of other potential contributing factors, your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan that could include:

  • Corrective dental work
  • Oral appliances (for teeth grinding or bite misalignments)
  • Lifestyle, home care, and pain management advice
  • Physical therapy recommendations
  • BOTOX® injections

Given their specialized knowledge of both oral health care and jaw structure, your dentist is well-positioned to lead the initiative in helping you assess and treat your TMJ challenges.

Discover Personalized TMJ Treatment 

Let The Smile Centre in Sarasota, FL, evaluate your TMJ symptoms and build a treatment plan. Call 941-351-4468 or contact us here to get started. Our dedicated team is experienced in every facet of dentistry, ensuring you receive the comprehensive care you deserve. 

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