What is TMJ Dysfunction?

Do you suffer with chronic headaches or migraines? Do you hear your jaws click or pop? If you answered yes, you could be one of the millions living with TMJ dysfunction (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). Problems with TMJ dysfunction can generate a host of painful symptoms and negatively impact your wellbeing.

The TMJ joints hold the lower jaw to the temporal bone and allow routine jaw motion. When these joints are misaligned, associated muscles are strained and discomfort can occur. Stress, heredity, certain habits, and a number of other factors can contribute to TMJ dysfunction.

If you think TMJ dysfunction is a problem for you, contact your dentist. The doctor will complete a thorough exam and then make treatment recommendations.  Dr. Yolonda Cruz offers Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA), which records the vibrations that occur during jaw movement.  This gives Dr. Cruz a better understanding of the TMJ function before and during the creation of a dental appliance or oral splint.  Other treatments include physical therapy, stress reduction, rebuilding damaged teeth with restorations, or habit changes to relieve TMJ symptoms.

These tips may help you deal with your TMJ dysfunction:

  • Apply warm compresses to the area, which may reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort.
  • Consider meditation to slow breathing, help you relax, and alleviate uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Find an effective way to handle stress. A calming bath, long walk, or yoga class may ease your anxiety and reduce triggers for flare ups.
  • Talk with your dentist about a mouth guard. An oral splint can keep your jaw in the proper position so that the chewing system doesn’t become strained.
  • Join a support group. Talking with others who have similar experiences can give you a safe place to share your feelings and find comfort.

Schedule your appointment at our Phillipsburg dental office