If you suffer from frequent pain in the head, neck, or jaw, you may have a TMJ disorder (also abbreviated TMD). The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of the skull. When this joint is stressed, misaligned, or malfunctioning, it can cause serious pain and discomfort.
If you suspect you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder, give us a call at 210-812-2602 to schedule your consultation. Dr. Craig Carlson has experience diagnosing and treating TMJ in his patients, and often can provide long-term relief through realigning your bite.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorders are often difficult to diagnose, because they can involve such a wide range of symptoms. A qualified dentist who knows what to look for and how to examine the jaw for bite misalignment is actually the best person to see for a TMJ diagnosis.
Common symptoms of TMJ disorders can include:
- Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds in the jaw
- Frequent headaches
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, or face
- Pain the jaw, especially when biting, chewing, or speaking
- Difficulty opening the mouth wide
If you have chronic pain in the neck, face, and shoulders that hasn't responded to typical treatments, you may have a TMJ disorder.
Visit Dr. Carlson at 5 Star Dental Group for a diagnosis and treatment options.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
One of the main culprits that leads to TMJ disorder is a misaligned bite. A person's bite can become misaligned for a variety of reasons, including:
- Trauma to the jaw
- Missing teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Excessively weak teeth
- Bruxism (chronic teeth grinding)
An imbalance in the muscles of the head and neck can cause pain and create excessive forces on the joints that work the mandible. This causes the joints to malfunction, resulting in typical TMJ disorder symptoms.
Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder
Many people who suffer from TMD turn to chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, massage therapy, and over the counter painkillers for relief from their symptoms. These treatments, however, offer only a temporary solution. Long-term treatment for TMJ disorders must address the root cause of the pain, rather than simply addressing the pain itself.
Dr. Carlson will carefully evaluate your jaw to determine the cause of your TMD. If a bad bite alignment is causing your muscles to work constantly to position your jaw in the wrong place, this means your bite is the underlying cause and should be treated. Dr. Carlson uses computerized jaw tracking to find the ideal position for your jaw in order to align your bite and alleviate your symptoms.
Realigning your bite may involve treatments such as:
- Restorative dental work
- Custom orthotic device
- Night guard to prevent teeth grinding and clenching
Each patient is different, and Dr. Carlson will create a custom treatment plan based on your individual needs.
Schedule Your TMJ Consultation
If you have been suffering from chronic pain and headaches with little to no relief, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Craig Carlson at 210-812-2602 today to schedule your consultation. TMD treatment can help to relieve your pain and improve your sleep quality, as well as overall quality of life.
We serve patients in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and other nearby areas of South Texas.