TMJ Dysfunction Therapies in Montgomery, MN
The temporomandibular joints, commonly referred to as TMJ, are the small connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull bone. When these joints are strained, inflamed, or damaged, the result can be severe jaw pain or limited ability to open and close the mouth. In severe cases, complete jaw immobility may occur. This pain and jaw damage is known as TMJ dysfunction. Geoff Iverson, DDS and his dedicated dental team offer a variety of treatments to repair damaged TMJ and renew oral health.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The first step in treating TMJ dysfunction is establishing an accurate diagnosis. We screen for TMJ dysfunction at every dental checkup, but we encourage patients to contact us right away if they experience any of the following symptoms of TMJ dysfunction:
- Jaw pain while opening and closing the mouth or when the jaw is still
- Chronic head, neck, or ear pain
- Grinding or clenching sound when opening and closing the mouth
- Inability to fully extend the jaw
We may need to help patients adjust their occlusion, the way the bite fits together, in an attempt to relieve TMJ pain. This is accomplished through small adjustments in how the teeth work together. Additionally, daily therapeutic exercises for the jaw muscles may be used to re-establish normal, comfortable function. In more advanced cases, we may need to use orthodontic treatment for tooth position corrections. For the most extreme cases where all other treatment options have not provided relief, our team partners with TMJ specialists to evaluate and treat individual joint problems.
Possibly the simplest solution, occlusal splints or night guards are often recommended to relieve the pain associated with TMJ dysfunction. Custom crafted, these splints shift the jaw to the most comfortable position during sleep relieving unnecessary strain and allowing the jaw to relax while protecting the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These are commonly used in treatment of bruxism or grinding of the teeth.