About TMJ Disorders
Our jaw joints and teeth are designed to withstand the force of chewing and biting for many years. Teeth should come together smoothly while chewing, and jaw joints should properly direct the movement of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sophisticated joint in front of your ears that joins your jaw to your skull. When the jaw joints are misaligned, the force of chewing can be misdirected and result in a number of dental and overall health problems. Treatment for TMJ disorders includes diagnosing and correcting issues of the jaw joints and teeth misalignment to ensure a healthy and properly functioning bite.
Signs of an Imbalance
Chewing is something we all do every day, so it’s important that your mouth is able to properly chew and maneuver. Patients with an imbalance may experience:
- Uneven wearing of teeth
- TMJ popping or clicking
- Head, neck, or back pain
- Dental work that doesn’t last
- The need for root canals on one side of the mouth
- Frequent migraines
Causes of TMJ Problems
Ideally, dental work should last for a long time after it is completed. However, teeth can shift back to their original pre-orthodontic position due to an imbalanced jaw joint that was not addressed prior to treatment. Teeth straightening can cause headaches when the TMJ is imbalanced. Facial trauma and bad biting or chewing habits such as nail-biting can also cause problems. There are many things that can contribute to a misaligned jaw, and treatment can help restore proper function to your bite and alleviate TMJ pain or discomfort.
Treatment of TMJ Disorders
Dr. Oji will take X-rays of your facial structure and teeth. She will design a customized treatment plan that changes the shape, size, and relationship of the jaw and facial bones to ensure you have a properly functioning TMJ. In many instances, problems can be resolved with orthodontic appliances. These devices can prevent improper growth and redirect bone structure to the right position, and each oral appliance is custom-made to fit your mouth. In fact, well-strategized treatment can virtually eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment.
TMJ Treatment and Prevention in Fresno, CA
Many patients are unaware that a jaw or teeth misalignment exists, which is why it is important to be properly evaluated by a dentist at routine check-ups. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oji. Our skilled team will evaluate your condition and design a personalized treatment plan that is right for you.