If you experience pain or limited mobility of your jaw, you could be suffering from a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. When the temporomandibular joint functions incorrectly, your quality of life can significantly decrease. Simple tasks, like chewing and speaking, can be painful, while you also deal with many other uncomfortable symptoms, such as your jaw popping or clicking. When living with TMJ in Erlanger, you need treatment to regain your quality of life. Dr. Darlene Henry and her team offer effective treatment for temporomandibular disorders.

What are TMJ Disorders?

Disorders of the temporomandibular joint are quite common, with more than 3 million cases of TMJ disorders diagnosed each year. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. When the joint functions incorrectly, it can lead to a localized pain disorder, known as temporomandibular joint syndrome, more commonly known as a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders can occur in anyone; however, they are most commonly diagnosed in those 19 to 60 years of age.

There are several causes of the disorder, such as injury to the teeth or joint, as well as a poorly aligned bite. In some cases, underlying conditions, like bruxism or arthritis, can cause decreased function of the joint. Those who are under high levels of stress, have poor posture, or chew gum excessively can develop the disorder.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?

The symptoms of the condition are quite diverse. Most often, there is pain, tenderness, or swelling near the joint. However, other common symptoms include clicking, popping, or a grating sound when opening and closing the mouth. It is not uncommon for the jaw to lock in an opened or closed position. When the condition is left untreated, you may develop headaches, popping or ringing in the ears, ear pain, and sore muscles of the jaw or neck.

How are TMJ Disorders Treated?

To stop the painful symptoms of the condition, you need TMJ therapy in Erlanger. Treatment usually involves various aspects, such as daily exercises, stress reducing techniques, and an oral appliance. The primary focus of treatment includes reducing the strain and pressure on the joint while also increasing mobility.

Custom-made oral appliances are used, such as a splint or mouthguard, to reposition the jaw. By wearing the devices, the jaw is placed into a more natural position and trained to stay in that position over time. This is also effective for treating bruxism, which can amplify the symptoms of the disorder.

In addition to oral appliances, home exercises and stress reducing techniques are used to improve the flexibility of the joint. Botox injections are also beneficial as they help to relax the muscles of the jaw. Depending on the exact cause of your condition, other treatments may also be recommended. For example, if a poorly aligned bite is the cause, orthodontics may be recommended.

Where Can I Get TMJ Treatment?

If you are ready to restore your quality of life and stop the pain of TMJ, Dr. Henry and her team can help. Contact her office today to schedule your consultation.