The biggest problem with treating TMJ is that most of the pain in the joint does not come from a structural problem within the joint, but rather it comes from surrounding areas. These surrounding areas include muscle spasms around the jaw and neck, or tension pains in any one of these muscles.
A New Hyde Park dentist can help by identifying where the tension originates and the best treatment to reduce the pressure. This would be done by identifying if muscles are causing the problem or an actual joint issue (such as arthritis or a disc.)
Here, we will give you examples of various treatments that could help with TMJ issues.
1. Dental Orthodontics
These are any treatments that straighten teeth, such as braces or retainers. This would help people who clench or grind their teeth at night in their sleep. This works because the muscle tension from grinding and clenching will be spread over a wider surface of your teeth, so any pain should reduce.
2. Teeth Repositioning
Teeth repositioning is the process of moving teeth into a different position that reduces painful areas of your mouth. For example, if you have an upper front tooth that is sticking out too far but has caused TMJ in the past, it can be trimmed down to where it isn’t poking your cheek anymore and doesn’t cause pain.
3. Orthodontic Retainers
Orthodontic retainers are used to hold teeth in place after braces, so if you have had braces before and still got TMJ afterward, it may be worth looking into getting an orthodontic retainer. The retainers work because they keep the teeth in the right place and prevent them from shifting back to where they were before.
4. Jaw Stabilization
Jaw stabilization is a treatment that stabilizes the jaw joints to spread muscle tension around, so it isn’t just focused on one specific joint. This will reduce the amount of stress put onto one fixed point so it can reduce pain. This is usually done by wearing a splint at night as you sleep.
Invisalign is a product that helps straighten teeth but is not as noticeable as regular braces. This is especially useful if you have to wear your retainers all the time because it will be easier to hide them from others and they won’t notice anything different in your appearance.
If you are experiencing pain in the jaw or neck, contact us at New Hyde Park Dental about which of these treatments may be best for you.
We hope this article has been helpful to you and we look forward to seeing you at our office soon!