Dr. Albert Caves works with many patients who suffer from TMJ related disorders. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint”, assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

There is no single cause for TMJ dysfunction. There are a number of factors that contribute to this complicated condition. Most commonly, trauma to the head or face is to blame for TMJ problems.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Frequent headaches or migraine headaches
  • Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
  • Popping or clicking in the jaw joints
  • Tooth wear
  • Chronic earaches

Although a common sign of TMJ dysfunction, a “popping” sound in the jaw does not necessarily indicate a problem. Some people hear a “popping” sound when chewing or talking but have a properly functioning TMJ.

TMJ Treatment Options

TMJ Treatment depends entirely on the patient. There is no single method of treatment or standard TMJ therapy. Dr. Caves offers a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth).

Possible TMJ treatment may include the use of a mouth guard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend certain invasive procedures.

For chronic cases, there may be damage to the teeth that Dr. Caves can repair. Teeth grinding, for example, can cause the teeth to wear prematurely. They may be corrected with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or dental crowns.

TMJ dysfunction can put restrictions on your life and cause chronic pain and discomfort. Contact our Columbus, Georgia dental office today to learn more about TMJ therapy and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Caves.