TMJ and Teeth Grinding
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small hinge joint located in front of your ear where the skull meets the lower jaw. It allows the lower jaw to move comfortably when you speak and chew.
A small shock-absorbing disc protects the parts of the bone that meet this joint. When it's in healthy condition, it allows the joint to work smoothly; when it isn’t, however, it can cause pain and a host of other symptoms.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Common symptoms of a problem with your TMJ are teeth grinding (bruxism), frequent headaches, earaches, and difficulty opening your mouth all the way. You may also notice a clicking or grinding sound in the joint or feel pain when you open and close your mouth.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
Before we can decide on a solution, we must find the cause. Once we discover the cause of your TMJ symptoms, we can plan treatment accordingly.
TMJ symptoms can result from a wide variety of problems, and you may actually have more than one issue that contributes to your discomfort.
- Trauma to the face or jaw
- Excessive grinding of your teeth
- Dislocation or damage to the temporomandibular joint
- Malocclusion, or a misaligned bite
How We Treat TMJ Problems
It's actually easier to treat the symptoms of TMJ than you might think – in many cases, we can minimize your discomfort without the need for invasive surgery.
Dr. Blake Sessions will evaluate your problem to find the source of your symptoms and work with you until we find the cause and the most effective solution. For some patients, the answer is as simple as a customized night guard that fits over your teeth like a mouth guard.
The night guard is worn during sleep to prevent your upper and lower jaw from coming into contact and putting excessive pressure on your TMJ. The appliance works by reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ that include grinding your teeth, headaches, and neck and jaw pain.
Please Contact Us to Get Started
The first step in eliminating the annoying and painful symptoms of TMJ is to arrange a complimentary consultation at our Burien dental office. We are open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM so you don’t have to take time from school or work to visit us.
In many cases, dental insurance covers TMJ treatment, and our knowledgeable team will help figure out what your out-of-pocket cost will be prior to starting treatment.
There is no reason to allow a painful jaw joint to disrupt your life. Dr. Sessions and our team are committed to providing practical guidance and state-of-the-art dental health solutions. We will work with your needs so we can determine which treatment would resolve your problem and restore your quality of life.