Effective Treatment for Jaw Clicking, Popping, & Pain
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located in front of both ears and connects the jaw to the skull. When this joint does not function properly, it can cause clicking noises or pain when eating or speaking. The oral health specialists at Full Smile Dental provide surgical and nonsurgical treatment for TMJ disorders in Dumas, Canyon, Amarillo, Farwell, and Dalhart, TX.
Signs of TMJ Disorders
Signs or symptoms of a TMJ disorder does not necessarily mean you require treatment. Many patients with a TMJ disorder are able to manage without ever needing treatment, while others can greatly benefit from either surgical or nonsurgical care. If you experience any of these signs, you may have a TMJ disorder:
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Ear pain
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Facial pain or swelling
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
The exact cause of TMJ disorders can often be theorized, but is not known for sure. Some patients develop these issues as a result of certain behaviors or genetics, while others develop problems in the muscles surrounding the joint. Facial trauma may also injure the joint, hindering its ability to function.
Jaw clenching or grinding your teeth, known as bruxism, can put a great amount of stress on the jaw. You may do this at night without knowing it and wake up with headaches or jaw pain. Clenching the jaw is also a response to stress, which can aggravate the TMJ. Arthritis, poor posture, and teeth misalignment can also contribute to TMJ problems.
Treatment for TMJ Disorders
A general dentist or oral surgeon will diagnose a TMJ disorder using X-rays or 3D scans. At Full Smile Dental, our experts evaluate the jaw joint during dental checkups and routine exams. If an issue with the TMJ is suspected, we will perform a more in-depth examination and discuss your options for treatment.
Nonsurgical treatments will be considered before surgical options. Many patients find relief from nonsurgical methods, such as the use of mouth guards at night, physical therapy, avoiding very chewy foods, reducing stress, and using hot or cold compresses. Anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, or injections like BOTOX® can provide relief to the joint.
If traditional methods are ineffective, we may consider a surgical approach. Surgeries to treat TMJ disorders include:
- Arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive procedure that rinses the joint to remove inflammation
- Arthroscopy, which allows your surgeon to see inside the joint and assess torn cartilage or internal damage
- Open joint surgery, allowing your surgeon to remove excess tissue or bone and free the joint
- Total joint replacement, which involves replacing the joint with a prosthesis to restore function and requires in-patient surgery
Patients with a TMJ disorder and other conditions such as severe bite misalignment or a receding or protruding jaw may benefit from orthognathic surgery. Surgically repositioning the jaws can be an effective solution to a TMJ disorder by taking less stress off the joint and reducing wear on teeth.
TMJ Disorders in Dumas, Canyon, Amarillo, Farwell, and Dalhart, TX
Full Smile Dental provides exceptional dental and oral surgery care to patients of all ages. Our team of general and cosmetic dentists, pediatric dentists, and oral surgeons are committed to going beyond the standard of care for every patient. Each of our offices are equipped with advanced technology and accept many forms of payment and financing to make your oral health treatment more affordable. The experts at Full Smile Dental provide relief to patients with jaw popping and clicking, facial pain, bite problems, and headaches caused by TMJ disorders. Through a variety of treatment options, we help patients with TMJ disorders achieve a properly functioning jaw joint.
Experience the Full Smile Difference
Receive thoughtful oral surgery and dental care in a modern and comfortable setting. Our state-of-the-art facilities and expert team ensure every experience is made exceptional. We look forward to serving you and your loved ones.