TMJ Treatments in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, MI
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in the temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result. In East Grand Rapids, many patients suffer from TMJ.
What is TMJ in East Grand Rapids?
Problems in this area can cause:
- Headaches/neck aches
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
- Sensitive teeth
Dr. Zwier performs many different dental treatments for the condition which may include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. In East Grand Rapids, he can provide the necessary treatment fitting each patient’s needs.
How is TMJ Treated?
There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Pain relievers may be prescribed to help relieve pain associated with TMJ. Muscle relaxants can also be used sometimes for a few days to lessen pain. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
TMJ can also be caused by stress. Strenuous physical tasks or activities can also cause patients to clench or grind their teeth. By reducing tension-related habits that can cause TMJ pain, patients can sometimes lessen their discomfort. Some tips to lessen TMJ pain include:
- Avoid overuse of the jaw by eating soft foods and cutting food into small pieces. Also, avoid gum chewing.
- Applying a warm washcloth or ice to the area can often help to alleviate the pain.
- Your dentist may show you how to massage your jaw muscles yourself to help lessen discomfort.
If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from TMJ, contact Dr. Zwier in Grand Rapids today to schedule an appointment.