If you’re experiencing jaw pain and discomfort in Atlanta, the team at Goldstein Garber & Salama is here to help. Our doctors can diagnose jaw conditions like TMJ/TMD, go over your options for treatment, and help you get relief from your jaw pain. Contact us today to get started!
TMJ and TMD are acronyms used to refer to the temporomandibular joint and temporomandibular joint disorder, respectively. TMD is a condition caused by trauma or inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which is located on either side of the face just below the ear.
This delicate joint connects the jaw to the skull and can become damaged due to direct trauma (a slip and all, for example), by overuse, such as teeth grinding, or due to diseases that cause inflammation, such as arthritis.
There are many different things that can cause TMD, so it’s important to see an experienced doctor at Goldstein Garber & Salama to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your jaw pain and discomfort.
TMJ/TMD often manifests as pain in the jaw or face. If you feel a lot of pain right below your ears, you could have TMD. This condition can also lead to a higher prevalence of headaches, which may feel like they’re radiating from around your ears or temples.
If your temporomandibular joint is damaged or inflamed, you may notice that your jaws start to hurt after you’ve been chewing for a little while, or you may have problems chewing properly and exerting enough force to chew your food properly. These are both indicators that you may have a serious jaw issue.
If you frequently notice strange clicking or popping noises when you open your mouth widely, speak, or chew, this may indicate an issue with your temporomandibular joint. In extreme cases, your jaw may occasionally become stuck or locked in place.
To begin, you’ll undergo a comprehensive oral exam from one of our dentists in Atlanta to determine if you have TMJ disorders. Your dentist at Goldstein Garber & Salama will take x-rays of your face and jaw to look for signs of inflammation in your temporomandibular joint, and determine if you are suffering from TMD.
Your dentist at Goldstein Garber & Salama may recommend that you make adjustments to your lifestyle, such as reducing stress to minimize grinding or wearing a night guard for grinding, switching to a soft food diet to reduce chewing, and performing jaw stretches. In some cases, these kinds of changes are enough to eliminate TMD.
Oral appliance therapy is often recommended for minor-to-moderate TMJ disorders. This involves a custom-built oral appliance that looks similar to a night guard for grinding, and is worn at night. This oral appliance alters the position of the jaws during sleep to encourage proper healing of the temporomandibular joint.
Botox may also be an option. It can be used to selectively paralyze the muscles of the jaw to provide relief from clenching, grinding, and TMJ disorder. In some cases, corticosteroid injections can be used to help provide relief. Surgery is rarely required for TMJ/TMD, and is typically a last resort if all other treatment options fail.