To restore your jaw to normal function
A TMJ disorder means that the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) attaches your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of your ears. This joint allows you to move your jaw to talk, chew and yawn.
Most people have relatively mild forms of the disorder, but for others the condition causes long-term, debilitating pain. The most common symptoms include:
- Locked jaw
- Stiff or sore jaw and neck muscles
Headaches, earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes
- A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
- Pain brought on by chewing, yawning or opening the mouth widely
- A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the cause of most TMJ problems is not clear. For many people, symptoms start without obvious reason, and while TMJ disorders can happen to anyone, problems occur more frequently in women than men.
Common risk factors for TMJ disorders include:
- Injury to the teeth or jaw
- Misalignment of the teeth or jaw
- Teeth grinding
- Poor posture
- Gum chewing
How Does Dr. Butler Treat TMJ Disorders?
One of the best treatments for TMJ disorders is a custom-made mouth guard. We offer a number of mouth guards and dental appliances to ease your discomfort, most of which require two appointments at our clinic.
In milder cases, TMJ pain can often be relieved with at-home remedies. Some examples include:
- Applying moist heat or ice packs to the joint
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum
- Avoiding extreme jaw movements
- Massage or gentle stretches to the jaw and
- neckReducing stress that may cause you to clench your jaw
In the rarest and most extreme cases, TMJ disorder may require surgery. Dr. Butler will work with you to decide the best treatment for your specific circumstances. Please visit our Mouth Guards and Splints page for types of splints are available.