If you are having trouble with pain in your jaw, noticing a limited range of motion while talking or eating, or evening hearing small sounds with the movement of your jaw, you might have Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Most people know the condition as TMJ. Thankfully, you do not have to go far to get relief from your symptoms. Galliano Family Dentistry here in Baton Rouge, LA, is ready to help you with your jaw problems to find the relief you are looking for.
What is TMJ?
Mastication is the term for the movement of your jaw. This movement is directly associated with the muscles at the back of your jaw. There are also the temporomandibular joints, which connect the jaw to the skull. Both of these are grouped together under the term TMJD, with the D standing for dysfunction. While the positive is that this condition is in no way life threatening, it is very easy for it to negatively affect your quality of life. Whether it is generalized headaches and jaw aches or more localized pain, if there is a problem with these joints or muscles they are sure to make themselves known.
The causes of TMJ are varied, but do generally fit into some similar categories. If you have gotten in a car accident and experienced a jaw or head injury, this could be a fast onset of TMJ problems. Stress is another factor that can bring the pain up, especially when stress causes you to have your resting position be one where your jaw is clenched. Another reason could be tooth grinding. Many people do this subconsciously, while they sleep. The movement from that can affect those muscles and joints enough to keep the pain going throughout the day. Even arthritis can lead to TMJ symptoms, because it affects muscles and joints and could have narrowed in on your back jaw. None of these are guarantees, but often these are present when someone comes in with problems with jaw pain. Being aware of these could help you decide to get help and address the problem more quickly.
The process is complicated because there is not a one size fits all answer as to what causes the pain, often differing from person to person. The entire system of the jaw is often affected, versus a single strained muscle or torn ligament that you can zero in on and fix in other parts of the body.
Thankfully, the team at Galliano Dentistry is here to help. To make sure you are receiving the best, personalized care, the first thing that will happen when you come into the office complaining of jaw pain or suspected TMJD will be a thorough evaluation.
Treatment Options for TMJ in Baton Rouge
If Dr. Galliano is able to determine that TMJ is in fact the cause of your discomfort, there are a few different options for treatment that you could go forward with. Sometimes hyper muscular activity causes your symptoms. If this is the case, using a splint or night guard can help you find relief. These two are the two big players in the TMJ therapy offered by Dr Galliano and his team. Patients have already found relief after other methods have not worked once going with this approach.
The technology behind the night guards or splints is a system of slowly moving the unit. Every couple of weeks, the piece you are wearing will be adjusted. With a slow, gradual adjustment, it usually takes between three and six months for the process to be complete. You will have wished you started the process earlier when you realize what great relief there is once you are underway with this therapy.
If you are having problems with your jaw and some of these explanations ring bells in your head, it is a good idea to give the Galliano Family Dentistry a call. Getting an appointment scheduled will get you on the path to recovery as quickly as possible.