Understanding TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a source of chronic pain for many people, but your Albuquerque general dentist at Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental can help you manage your condition for effective pain relief.

Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is a blanket term used to describe pain in the jaw. Some people with TMJ disorder experience muscle pain, which is commonly the effect of nighttime grinding or clenching (bruxism). Others may experience joint pain, caused by inflammation.

TMJ disorder is characterized by a number of symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty or discomfort when biting or chewing
  • Dull facial ache
  • Clicking, popping or grating noises when opening/closing your mouth
  • Earaches, ringing ears or hearing loss
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Pain in the jaw, neck and shoulder
  • Dizziness

If you have any symptoms, your general dentist may be able to diagnose TMJ disorder and develop a treatment plan.

TMJ Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, we can diagnose TMJ disorder using manual exams and panoramic X-rays. If you do have TMJ disorder, there are a number of treatment options ranging from at-home stretches and exercises to TMJ surgery. We will help you understand all your TMJ treatment options and develop a comprehensive plan so that you can get effective pain relief.

TMJ Treatment Options

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to TMJ treatment. At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, we develop a customized TMJ treatment plan to best address each patient’s needs. We have a number of strategies we can use to help you get TMJ pain relief, including:

Stretches and exercises
Stretching, strengthening and retraining muscles and other connective tissues in the joint can help alleviate pain. We will demonstrate various stretches and exercises and give you instructions on how often you need to do them at home for best results.

Dental appliances
TMJ disorder is often the result of bite misalignment. Depending on whether teeth alignment or jaw bone positioning is the underlying cause of misalignment, we may recommend bite guards or splints, braces or other tooth replacement options.

TMJ surgery
If you do not get sufficient TMJ pain relief from more conservative TMJ treatment methods, surgery may be necessary.

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, our patients’ safety and comfort matter. We are conservative in our TMJ treatment, always trying minimally invasive options before oral surgery or permanent alignment corrections are suggested.

See Your Albuquerque Family Dentist

TMJ disorder can be managed so that you don’t have to live in constant pain, and you don’t need a specialist to get effective treatment. The general dentists from Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental have the experience provide the treatment you need for TMJ pain relief. Contact our Albuquerque office to schedule your appointment today.