TMJ disorder can have debilitating effects that can dramatically impact your quality of life. Fortunately, the condition is treatable. Dr. William Davey Crockett can typically provide relief with a simple oral appliance. Occasionally, you may require further treatment, such as restorative dentistry or lifestyle changes. After providing your mouth guard, Dr. Crockett will monitor your progress. We can determine the right TMJ treatment for you at our Richmond, VA, office.
TMJ disorder often involves an inflammation of the jaw joints.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Many different factors can cause TMJ disorder. One of the most common is a displacement of the tissue disc that acts as a cushion between the jaw and the base of the skull. Another common cause is an improperly balanced jaw resulting from dental misalignment, bruxism, or injury. When the upper and lower jaws fail to meet comfortably, the jaw joints will overcompensate in order to achieve comfort. However, this constant strain will result in a host of uncomfortable symptoms over time.
Your mouth guard will be designed for your comfort. After a few nights, you will hardly notice you are wearing it.
Are You Suffering from TMD?
TMJ disorder symptoms can be easily mistaken for those of other conditions. You should schedule a consultation with Dr. Crockett if you experience:
- Jaw pain
- Pain across your lower face
- Popping or clicking with jaw movement
- Ear pain
- Tingling sensation in the extremities
- Ringing in your ears
- Jaw stiffness
- Frequent headaches
- Neck, shoulder, or upper back pain
TMJ Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment
Dr. Crockett will also perform a manual exam, assessing your jaw movement and looking for swelling in the area. X-rays and CT scans can reveal structural damage in the joints as well. He will also perform a close analysis of the way your upper and lower jaws meet.
Once he has issued a definitive diagnosis and understands the causes of your TMJ disorder, Dr. Crockett can begin creating your treatment plan. He may recommend a mouth guard that is custom-made from precise impressions of your bite. When you wear the device (usually during sleep), your jaw will protrude forward slightly, alleviating pressure on your jaw joints. Your mouth guard will be designed for your comfort. After a few nights, you will hardly notice you are wearing it.
If dental misalignment is causing your TMJ disorder, Dr. Crockett may suggest restorative dentistry as a supplement to your mouth guard. For example, if you have missing teeth, he can provide a bridge or dental implants to fill the gap in your smile. In this way, he can help the jaws meet properly, relieving strain on the jaw joints. Invisalign® is another option if dental misalignment contributes to your condition.
Schedule an Evaluation Today
Are you suffering from jaw pain or related concerns? Contact office online or call (804) 282-2990 to book an appointment. During an evaluation, Dr. Crockett can determine if you are experiencing TMJ disorder and recommend a treatment plan to provide the relief you need and deserve.