The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a very complex joint that gives the lower jaw most of its function. TMJ disorders are much easier to diagnose and treat than many years ago. Diagnosis and treatment is even easier, if problems are detected early enough to correct the problem before irreversible changes occur.
Phase One - Self-Examination
If you believe that you may have a TMJ Disorder, ask yourself a few of the following questions:
- Do you grind your teeth?
- Does jaw pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
- Does your jaw click or pop while chewing or during normal movement
- Have you ever injured your jaw or head?
- Do you get frequent headaches
- Do you have arthritis of other joints in the body?
The more you answered "Yes," the more likely it is that you have a TMJ Disorder. You may want to discuss this with your dentist or contact us for a consultation.
Phase Two - Professional Examination
If you feel you have a TMJ Disorder, a professional exam can be performed to help find out the source of any jaw problems that you may be having. The examination may include diagnostic imaging as well as a history and physical examination of the head and neck.
Phase Three - Treatment
If it is determined that you do have a TMJ Disorder, a course of treatment can be reviewed and established to correct the problem.
Many cases can be improved without surgery but if a surgical solution is required, Dr. Chewning and McDonald can provide that service. The ultimate goal of treatment is to return you to nearly normal function with minimal pain in the jaw joints.