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Why You Should Turn to Your Dentist for TMJ Therapy

July 8, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — castleberry @ 6:49 pm
Dentist treating a patient with TMJ disorder.

Did you know that your jaw is one of the most complex and important parts in your whole body? It’s what allows you to easily complete many daily tasks like biting, chewing, eating, and so on. But just like the rest of your body, your jaw is also vulnerable to injuries that can affect your well-being! If you’re experiencing issues like popping noises when you chew, persistent ear and headaches, and jaw tenderness, you might be suffering from TMJ disorder. And believe it or not, your dentist is actually the best person to turn to in these situations! Keep reading to learn why.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your jaw are responsible for connecting it to your skull and providing your mouth with a wide range of motion. However, the complexity of these joints is also why they’re so vulnerable to injury! It’s estimated that around 10 million Americans struggle with TMJ disorder, which is categorized as any type of issue affecting the joints. It’s often the result of the following:

  • Jaw trauma or dislocation.
  • Bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth)
  • Arthritis.
  • Poor tooth or jaw alignment.

Why Does TMJ Disorder Require Treatment?

TMJ disorder is serious—it can lead to some serious and painful complications down the road, even if you’re only experiencing minor symptoms! If you don’t seek treatment, you’re potentially at risk for the following:

  • Increased risk of dental problems such as bruxism.
  • Asymmetrical jaw muscle growth.
  • Debilitating headaches and pain that impacts your daily life.
  • Chronic ear pain that can even result in tinnitus.
  • Cartilage deterioration in your jaw that can increase the risk of fracture or dislocation.

Why Is My Dentist the Right Person for The Job?

Most people don’t realize that dentists are far more than mere “teeth doctors”—they have a wide array of skills and specialized knowledge and can tackle virtually any problem that occurs inside of your mouth, including TMJ disorder. Since TMJ disorder is often caused by tooth and jaw misalignment anyway, there are many dental treatments that can help including orthodontia. Your dentist can also provide you with anti-inflammatory treatment, muscle relaxation medication, or techniques designed to reduce the tension in your jaw muscles.  In rare cases, TMJ disorder might require surgery to fix.

If you’re concerned about your jaw pain and believe your symptoms might indicate TMJ disorder, don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist about it. They’re absolutely the best person for getting to the root of the issue quickly and providing you with the relief you need.

About the Author

Dr. Darrick Castleberry has proudly served patients and families in the Louetta, TX area for several years. Dr. Castleberry received his dental doctorate from the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and is a member of several professional organizations including the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including TMJ therapy. To schedule an appointment, feel free to reach out online or over the phone: (281) 320-9600.

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