How a General Dentist Treats TMJ Disorder

Tmj Peabody, MA

TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) affects over 3 million people in the US, according to the Mayo Clinic. This joint acts like a moving hinge and connects the skull to the jawbone. This joint is what allows your mouth to open and close. 

Sufferers from the disorder deal with pain and discomfort in many ways depending on the patient and the severity. You can suffer from this disorder for years and only suffer from minor symptoms. 

In severe cases, the jaw can “lock.” This is very painful and, in some cases, requires surgery to repair. You can also try applying a heat compress to your jaw. The heat could cause the muscles to relax and loosen, allowing your jaw to close. 

How will a dentist treat my TMJ?

If your dentist diagnoses you, there are several treatments they may recommend as an alternative to surgery. They could recommend pain relievers, bite guards and even physical therapy. All these options will help to ease the painful symptoms.

Severe cases will cause your jaw to painfully “lock.” Your jaw will stick in one position, and you cannot move it at all, which will require surgery to realign. 

If your jaw does ever “lock,” try to remain calm and apply a warm compress for at least 30 minutes, then remove the heat and try to relax and massage your jaw muscles.

Signs and symptoms to look for

There are quite a few different symptoms to look out for to determine if you have the disorder.

  • Jaw tenderness
  • Earaches
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Clicking of the jaw

Your dentist will evaluate you, so please be sure to let them know right away if you think you have any of the above symptoms. You want to be diagnosed as soon as possible. 

What causes this disorder?

This disorder can affect the jaw and the surrounding muscles and ligaments around the jaw joint. This disorder can affect anyone for many reasons. 

  • Suffering any trauma that affects your jaw or facial bones 
  • You may have an improper bite that has affected you for years
  • Arthritis
  • Wear & tear overtime on the joint

Some patients develop this dental disorder for no reason at all. If you know the signs to watch out for, you have a better chance of getting treated. Your dentist will only recommend surgery as a final option.

TMJ is a medical issue that can be treated. It will not go away unless you have surgery. Your dentist will be able to help you deal with the symptoms and give you exercises to do that will also help prevent your jaw from “locking.” 

Contact your dentist

Always discuss any TMJ problems or concerns with your dentist at your routine checkups. You want to catch any issues early enough for treatment to be effective. This may lead to surgery, but your dentist will help prevent that by prescribing you medications and exercises.

Request an appointment here: or call Northside Dental Care, PC at (978) 206-7077 for an appointment in our Peabody office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Peabody, MA.

Recent Posts

5 Signs You Need A TMJ Dentist

A TMJ dentist is a dental professional who focuses on managing and treating the temporomandibular joint disorder. Typically, this type of dentist is one who undergoes general dentistry education and training, but they continue their studies about the temporomandibular joint and how it can negatively impact one's oral health.TMJ disorder refers to the dysfunction that…

What A General Dentist Can Do For Teeth Clenching

Teeth clenching is an action that most people perform when stressed, anxious, or afraid. Clenching is typically a physical response to whatever emotion is occurring. It crosses a lot of the same boxes that bruxism does; however, the actual grinding motion does not usually take place. Instead, the upper and lower portions of the jaw…

5 Ways Treating TMJ Can Have A Positive Impact On Your Life

If you were to poll TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder) dentists about the frequency of oral health issues with the temporomandibular joint, you might be surprised with the results. Issues with this joint are much more common than most think. This joint serves as the axis between the skull base and the lower jaw.It…

Don't Let Jaw Pain Ruin Your Day

TMJ disorder has several causes that determine which treatment is best. Schedule an appointment to find the right one.As a TMJ dentist, we can treat TMJ disorder that interferes with eating, speaking and sleeping with pain in the jaw. We will help identify your symptoms and possible causes of TMJ, to customize the treatment.TMJ DentistAt…

Recent Posts

Dental Restoration Options From A Family Dentist

Dental Restoration Options From A Family Dentist

Your family dentist can help you regain your dental health. Dental damage or tooth loss can make eating and speaking difficult. Finding the right dental restoration is possible. Here are the details about the restoration options that you can get from your family dentist.Bacteria eat away the enamel layer of teeth, which results in cavities.…

Help Protect Your Teeth With Dental Restorations

Help Protect Your Teeth With Dental Restorations

As you age, your teeth face challenges from numerous issues. Daily wear from chewing food or stress-related grinding, gum problems from bacteria build-up, and tooth damage from the foods and drinks you consume all play a role in the deterioration of your smile.You and your dentist share a common goal: caring for and preserving your…