If you’re waking up with jaw pain and headaches each day, a trip to a dentist like Dr. David Lamothe can help. The Smyrna Dental offers effective therapy for TMJ and bite related issues to patients in Smyrna, GA, area to help strengthen facial muscles and improve bite alignment to relieve stress and tension in your jaw.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge that allows your jaw to open and move side to side. An injury or arthritis can cause TMJ issues, but the most common cause is stress on the jaw that causes wear and tear to the joint. If you have crowded or crooked teeth or jaw alignment issues, you are at a higher risk of developing TMJ disorders.
TMJ disorders can cause pain and tenderness in the jaw, difficulty chewing and locking or popping in the joint. Many patients with TMJ disorders experience frequent headaches as well as pain in the face, neck, and shoulders. Because the symptoms can have many causes, many people can go years without realizing they have a TMJ disorder. If you suspect TMJ issues, you should reach out to our office for an evaluation.
Just like any joint in your body, your TMJ can be strengthened and supported through exercises and therapies. Dr. Lamothe may recommend light therapy to stimulate blood flow to the facial muscles and activate your body’s healing process. He may also use electrostimulation therapy to reduce muscle tension in the jaw.
Additionally, Dr. Lamothe will show you exercises for your tongue, face, and jaw muscles to strengthen the muscles that support your joint. These exercises can be continued at home throughout the process, and over time they will bring balance to your facial muscles and help you retain the optimum jaw position naturally. Dr. Lamothe will evaluate your specific needs with a physical examination, X-rays, and a questionnaire to help him determine what you need to find relief.
Bite alignment is one of the major contributing factors to TMJ disorders, and Dr. Lamothe may recommend orthodontic treatment to realign your teeth and jaw for better resting oral posture. When your teeth don’t fit together properly, it adds tension to your joint, which contributes to head and jaw pain, as well as muscle tension throughout your body.
Patients with TMJ issues are far more likely to clench their jaw at night. Dr. Lamothe may suggest a custom-fitted nightguard to wear while you sleep. The oral appliance will keep your jaw in the optimum position to reduce strain and prevent teeth grinding.
Through a combination of therapies and oral appliances, patients can often resolve TMJ issues without the need for surgery. Your TMJ treatment plan will ultimately help you get better sleep and avoid chronic headaches and muscle pain. Contact our office in Smyrna, GA, today at (678) 374-3764 to schedule your consultation.