Are you hurting from headaches, ear pain, dizziness or other symptoms you cannot explain? You are not alone. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that TMJ (a nickname for temporomandibular joint dysfunction) affects about 15 percent of the population in the United States. In Upper Marlboro, MD, Dr. Felix Papillon is an expert on this jaw joint disorder, and he can treat, and help you understand, this often puzzling dental problem.
Exactly what is TMJ?
You have two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of your head at the junctions between the top and bottom jaw bones. The joints resemble hinges, but because of their disc-like condyles, or connective tissue, they can move the lower jaw from side to side as well as up and down.
When something goes awry in either or both joints due to arthritis, a blow to the face, poor dental bite or repetitive teeth clenching (bruxism), the jaw joints exhibit a variety of difficult symptoms such as:
- Ear and/or facial pain
- Bizarre popping or clicking noises when the jaw opens or closes
- Shoulder, back, or neck discomforts
- Vertigo, or dizziness
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
Unfortunately, TMJ in Upper Marlboro, MD, can cause jaw dislocation, a serious problem which needs immediate attention at the nearest hospital emergency room.
What you can do
If you suspect you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, please come to Papillon Dental for a full oral evaluation.
A typical exam for TMJ includes inspection of teeth and gums (particularly for dental bite and signs of uneven wear) as well as digital X-ray imaging and oral impressions. From there, the dentist can formulate a treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.
Typical treatments for TMJ include:
- Stretching exercises
- Muscle relaxants or analgesics
- Crowns or orthodontics to even dental bite
- Diet modifications (soft foods)
- A customized acrylic bite guard to cushion your teeth if you have bruxism
And, have better oral health. If you struggle with jaw joint symptoms, find the help you deserve at Papillon Dental in Upper Marlboro, MD. TMJ can be treated successfully. Call the friendly office team today to arrange a consultation with Dr. Papillon: (301) 773-5700.