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Woman holding jaw due to TMJ painYour mouth has many working parts. All of the different components work together, enabling you to do a wide array of different tasks, such as biting, chewing, speaking, and more. One of these components is your temporomandibular joints or TMJ. These ball and socket joints are where the mandible and skull meet. You have two of these joints, one on each side of your face. They work with the attached bones, ligaments, and muscles, enabling to open and close your mouth as well as move your jaw from side to side. If these joints become irritated, you may be left with a substantial amount of pain. Eating and speaking can become incredibly difficult, almost impossible. At Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry, we can diagnose the cause your TMJ issues, providing you with the treatment you need to restore your oral health and your quality of life.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is a blanket term that refers to a variety of different issues that affect the health of your TMJ as well as your jaw. These issues cause the joints to become irritated and inflamed, which can then lead to excruciating pain and incredible difficulty performing even the most basic tasks.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder can be caused by several different issues. These issues include:
•  Bruxism. Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. This issue places excessive stress on your jaw, which then places excessive pressure on the TMJ. Not only does the TMJ become irritated, but the jaw muscles can tire.
•  Facial trauma. This can be caused by issues such as auto accidents, falls, and sports injuries.
•  Dislocation of the jaw. If your jaw becomes dislocated, even if it has experienced whiplash, small tears can form in the joints, irritating.
•  Osteoarthritis. This is when the cartilage at the ends of your bones begins to deteriorate.
•  Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which your joints become inflamed.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Pain in your TMJ is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder, but it is not the only one. Many symptoms appear gradually, growing worse over time. Symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
•  Facial pain and swelling.
•  Jaw swelling.
•  Your jaw locks open or shut temporarily.
•  Difficulty, and pain, performing tasks like eating and speaking.
•  Clicking, popping, or grinding in the joints.
•  Chronic headaches or earaches, both of which are caused by pain that radiates from the joints.

Diagnosing Your TMJ Issues

When you experience symptoms of TMJ disorder, it is important that you seek treatment right away. A thorough oral exam will allow us to determine the cause of your TMJ issues. We begin by looking over the visible structures of your mouth, assessing your teeth for wear patterns and alignment. We also assess the alignment of your jaw. In addition to a visual exam, we also take digital X-rays, which enable us to see the hidden components of your mouth. With a complete picture of your exact condition, we can provide you with an effective treatment plan.

How Are the TMJ Treated?

The exact treatment you receive depends on the cause of your TMJ issues. Treatments for TMJ disorder include:
•  Treatment at home. Mild issues can sometimes be eased with over the counter or prescription pain relievers. Stress relief tactics, such as deep breathing and yoga, can also help.
•  A night guard. A night guard is a custom fit oral device that is made to be worn while you sleep. It provides cushion against excessive bite pressures for patients with bruxism. The night guard absorbs the impact, protecting your jaw and your TMJ.
•  Botox injections. While commonly associated with cosmetic treatment, Botox can also help to treat bruxism related TMJ issues. Botox weakens the muscles that tighten to cause grinding and clenching. This prevents these issues, alleviating your pain.
•  Orthodontic treatment. Treating alignment issues can put an end to your TMJ issues.
•  Oral surgery. In severe cases, surgery can help to alleviate your pain and restore your quality of life.

With the right treatment, the health of your TMJ can be restored, giving you back your quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry today at (623) 562-5230.

7505 W. Deer Valley Rd, STE100, Peoria, AZ 85382-2107

Office Hours:
Monday: 7:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 2:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:00am – 12:00pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed