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Temporomandibular Joint Disease

The temporomandibular joints act like hinges, connecting the lower jaw to the upper portion of your face. These joints sit just forward of your ears and are one of the most complex joints in the body, allowing the mouth and jaw to open, close, and even move forward and back or side to side. Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ, are problems associated with the function of these joints, which typically result in pain and difficulty moving the jaws. Your dentist at Marcin Dental Centers in Chillicothe or Peoria can help you manage pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ to improve the function of these joints and restore your everyday quality of life.

Common Symptoms Associated with TMJ

TMJ may cause various symptoms that include:

  • acute pain the jaws, face, neck, and upper shoulders.
  • chronic headaches.
  • stiffness in the muscles of the jaw and face.
  • difficulty opening or closing the mouth, including a limited range of motion.
  • locking of the jaw that leaves it immobile.
  • popping or clicking during jaw movement.
  • changes in bite and the fit of the upper and lower teeth.

Dental Treatments for TMJ

There are many treatment options available to correct problematic joints and eliminate the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders. The best treatment solution for you will depend on your unique condition and the symptoms you’re experiencing; your dentist will first perform a thorough evaluation and discuss your daily symptoms before recommending an appropriate treatment option.

  • Bite guards or oral splits can reduce pain associated with TMJ. These dental appliances are custom-designed based on the positions of your jaws and teeth, and may be worn while you sleep or throughout the day to improve your symptoms.
  • In some cases, TMJ can be improved through orthodontic treatment, which moves the teeth and jaws into their proper alignment. Your dentist will discuss your orthodontic treatment options, which could include traditional braces or an aligner tray system. Other dental solutions that can improve tooth alignment may include replacing or updating bridges and crowns for a more correct bite pattern.
  • Oral surgery is often recommended only if other treatment solutions fail. Surgery may be used to remove damaged tissue or joint material blocking the function of the joints, or to completely clean and repair the joints if they are severely damaged or worn.

Marcin Dental Centers is committed to helping you achieve a beautiful smile and greater quality of life through healthy teeth, gums, and jaws. You can reach our dental offices in Peoria by calling (309) 693-0043 and Chillicothe at (309) 274-6237 to find out more about TMJ diagnosis and treatment, as well as oral surgery, cosmetic dentistry, and general dentistry services for your entire family.

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