Dr. Marshall Fields, DMD and his team of dental professionals, located in Columbia nearby Irmo, SC, offer TMJ treatment services to help relieve pain related to TMJ disorders. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is located on each side of the jaw and connects the jaw to the skull. Pain in the jaw joint and muscles along the sides of the jaw is a common sign of a TMJ disorder and may require a dentist to evaluate the area and determine the necessary TMJ treatment.

Common signs of TMJ issues include:

  • Tenderness in the jaw
  • Pain in the joints along the side of the jaw
  • Aching in and around the ear
  • Chewing pains
  • Facial aches and pains
  • Difficulty opening and closing the jaw

woman with tmj pain holding jaw in painIf you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Carolina Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry today. Some TMJ pain can be caused by grinding or clenching the teeth and can be treated at home, while other causes may be more severe, such as osteoarthritis in the TMJ, and need to be treated by a dental professional. Our team will assess the areas of pain to determine their cause and develop a TMJ treatment plan that not only relieves the pain but also strengthens the jaw and muscles.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull, located in front of the ear and on each side of the head. These joints are flexible and allow the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side in order for the individual to be able to talk, chew, and stretch their jaw. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

Pain in this area of the jaw and in the muscles along the side of the face can be related to an issue in these temporomandibular joints. This pain may be caused by clenching, tightening, grinding, or minor injuries to the joints or muscles in the head and neck. Some TMJ pains can be relieved by simple self care practices such as stress relieving, stretching, and taking minor pain killers. Major injuries or genetic factors that affect the TMJ or muscles of the head and neck can cause more serious problems, such as temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which may need to be treated by a dentist.

What causes TMJ disorders?

It may be difficult to determine the cause of a TMJ disorder. The TMJ pain can come from a combination of reasons such as arthritis, a jaw injury, or even genetic causes.

Possible causes of TMD include:

  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
  • Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth

While some TMJ disorders do not need to be treated surgically by a dental professional, some individuals with TMJ disorders may benefit from a surgical treatment to lessen the pain. If you are experiencing consistent pain in the TMJ or muscles in the jaw, contact Dr. Marshall Fields, DMD today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Fields and his team of dental professionals will determine the cause of your TMJ pain and the necessary TMJ treatment to resolve the TMJ disorder.

How do I lessen jaw pain from TMJ?

Reducing the jaw pain from a TMJ disorder will differ based on the cause of the TMJ pain. TMJ treatment may require very simple, at-home care practices or can require a dental professional to resolve the underlying TMJ issue. Some of the most common TMJ treatments to lessen jaw pain from TMJ include:

  • Over-the-counter medication: If the TMJ pain is not severe, an over-the-counter pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant may be enough to ease the pain. Before taking any medication, consult with a dentist or doctor to determine which medication may be best for you.
  • Mouth guard: A mouth guard can be a great solution for breaking bad habits of clenching or grinding the teeth which can lead to TMJ pain in the neck, head, and jaw.
  • Physical therapy exercises: Certain exercises and stretches can help to strengthen the jaw muscle and reduce pain from jaw movements.
  • Dental surgery: In some severe cases, surgery may be indicated.

Before beginning any form of TMJ treatment plan, it is always best to talk with a dental professional to ensure that the cause of the TMJ pain is not something more serious. A dental professional can help to determine which specific TMJ treatment plan may work best for you, and continue to check up on your TMJ disorder over time to ensure that it is not getting worse. If you are experiencing jaw pain from TMJ, contact Dr. Marshall Fields, DMD.

dentist showing woman her dental chart

TMJ treatment in Columbia, SC

Dr. Marshall C Fields is a native of South Carolina and an experienced family and cosmetic dentist in Irmo, SC, seeing patients from around greater Columbia, SC. For years, Dr. Fields and his team have been delivering cosmetic, implant, and functional solutions to provide their patients with professional dental care that resolves their dental issues and restores their beautiful smile. Dr. Marshall Fields believes that offering the best dental care for his patients begins with continuing education for himself and his team to ensure that they are providing the most advanced procedures and materials in outstanding patient care. Patients at Carolina Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry can be sure that they are receiving the best dental care services from a team of friendly and experienced dental professionals.

Carolina Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry offers TMJ treatments and solutions for individuals suffering from TMJ pain. With years of experience working in restorative dentistry, our team is qualified to assess the cause of the TMJ disorder and develop a TMJ treatment plan that will accurately treat the specific cause of the TMJ pain. Contact Carolina Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry, located just outside of Irmo, SC, today to schedule a TMJ appointment.

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