Patients in Ware Shoals ask, what are TMJ disorders?
Many patients who experience chronic headaches, neck, mouth, and shoulder pain may feel helpless, as they are often unsure as to what causes it. Many are tired of taking pain medications to address the problem and want to get to the root of the issue. Some of these patients may actually be dealing with TMJ disorders.
What are TMJ disorders? Patients in the Ware Shoals area with TMJ disorders are those who have a malfunctioning temporomandibular joint. This jaw joint allows the mouth to open and close. It is essential for speaking, chewing, and making certain facial expressions. When it begins to malfunction, it can lock up, cause pain in the area, or click while eating or speaking. Additionally, patients with TMJ often deal with bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding of the teeth. This can result in breakage of teeth and wear and tear of the natural tooth enamel.
Dr. Christopher T. Griffin has worked with many patients in the Ware Shoals area who have dealt with problems such as TMJ disorders, which are also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). This condition should be addressed instead of ignored. Spending a lifetime taking pain medication to handle the problem is ignoring it, not fixing it. Speaking with a dentist who has the experience in dealing with TMJ/TMD is the best course of action.
Patients will first be diagnosed with the condition by completing x-rays and undergoing a physical examination with Dr. Griffin. Wear and tear on the natural teeth can help him determine if bruxism or TMJ/TMD is the root of the problem. X-rays can help discover any malfunction. Then, patients will discuss with him the method of treatment.
For most patients, appliance therapy works great in protecting the teeth and realigning the jaw at night to protect the teeth from bruxism and reduce the pressure on the jaw. Other individuals may benefit more from alternative treatments such as chiropractic care, massage, or orthodontic treatment to realign the jaw. All of these can ease the pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders.
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