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Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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TMJ Treatment


Woman with TMJYour mouth relies on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is the hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It is responsible for the opening and closing of your mouth, as well as your ability to move the jaw from side to side. When your TMJ hurts, your whole life is affected. It can be difficult for you to do simple tasks, like eating, speaking or yawning. At Embree Dentistry, we can diagnose issues with your TMJ and provide you with the treatment you need.

What is TMJ Disorder?


TMJ disorder envelops several different disorders that cause pain to the joint. Moreover, when the pain is severe, it can significantly impact your oral health, your overall health and your quality of life. Symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
•  Jaw pain.
•  Facial pain.
•  Pain while chewing.
•  Difficulty opening your mouth. In some cases, your jaw may even lock in position.
•  Clicking and popping while moving your mouth. You may also experience a grinding sensation.
•  Pains that seemingly have nothing to do with your TMJ, such as headaches, earaches, and neck pain.

Causes of TMJ Disorder


There are several different causes of TMJ disorder, which can sometimes make the exact one difficult to pinpoint. Common causes include:
•  Trauma. This can be from direct contact (such as a facial injury) or due to whiplash from an auto accident.
•  Bruxism, a condition in which you clench and grind your teeth, frequently caused by stress.
•  Misaligned teeth or jaw.
•  Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosing TMJ Disorder


At Embree Dentistry, we can diagnose the cause of your TMJ disorder, which will allow us to provide you with the proper treatment for relief. We start with a thorough oral exam, checking the condition of your teeth, checking your bite and checking for areas of tenderness. We will also take images, which will allow us to see what’s going on inside. These images may include X-rays, CT scans or MRIs.

Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder


Treatment for your TMJ disorder depends upon the cause. For some, prescription pain relievers or muscle relaxers are enough to provide relief. However, for much more, these options just aren’t enough. Other options for TMJ disorder treatment include:
•  Oral splits/mouth guards. Worn at night (for bruxism), these splints place the jaw back in proper alignment and provide a cushion when your muscles contract.
•  Botox. Commonly thought of as a cosmetic procedure, Botox is a muscle relaxant that is injected into targeted areas of the skin. These injections relax the muscles of the jaw that would otherwise contract and cause clenching.
•  Orthodontic work. If your teeth are out of alignment, orthodontic work, such as braces, may be enough to solve your issues.
•  Surgery. Surgery is reserved for situations when no other treatment option proves successful. Many TMJ disorder patients who need surgery find success with arthroscopy, a procedure in which a needle is used to clean and irrigate the joint. In some cases, open jaw surgery may be needed.
•  Physical therapy. If your TMJ pain is chronic or continues to come back, physical therapy may be able to restore joint mobility and increase muscle strength.

If your jaw is causing you significant discomfort, and impacting your quality of life, call Embree Dentistry to schedule your appointment today!
The first step to a healthy beautiful smile is to schedule an appointment.
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