Are you affected by TMJ Disorders?
Do you have frequent headaches or migraines, usually in the morning?
Do you experience limited mobility in the jaw or hear a popping or clicking noise when you open or close your jaw?
These signs are often misdiagnosed by patients and physicians, when they may in fact be the result of a treatable dental problem or temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Few dentists and physicians are trained and experienced at diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders which considers how your bite fits together and how that relationship contributes to problems like headaches, earaches and tooth wear.
Massachusetts dentist, Dr. Robert Gauthier of Apex Dental in Northborough, has focused a considerable amount of his post graduate training to the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders, along with the complex dental problems that occur as a result of long term TMJ dysfunction.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is a joint connecting the upper and lower jaw, responsible for the opening and closing of the mouth. TMJ is a also general term given to a condition in which the jaw joints or teeth do not fit together properly.
Common Causes of TMJ Disorder
There is no single cause for TMJ dysfunction. Any number of factors or combination of factors may be to blame including:
- Stress, anxiety and other environmental factors (leading cause)
- Trauma to the head, neck, or face
- Trauma to the TMJ joint or arthritis
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Malocclusion (where the jaws do not line up correctly resulting in bite problems)
Common TMJ Symptoms
As with the causes, symptoms of TMJ disorder vary greatly between patients. TMJ symptoms often mask themselves or are similar to those of other medical conditions, making diagnosis extremely difficult. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Shoulder, neck, facial pain
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
- Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
- Teeth clenching, teeth grinding, often accompanied by tooth wear
- Chronic earaches
TMJ treatment depends entirely on the patient and the individual symptoms they are experiencing. Dr. Gauthier takes a comprehensive approach to TMJ treatment, which often includes oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is a removable device, usually worn at night, to keep the teeth and jaw in proper position and prevent teeth grinding and teeth clenching. An oral appliance may be a dental splint, mouth guard or night guard.
In addition, Dr. Gauthier provides a range of general dentistry and restorative dental services to repair damaged teeth as a result of TMJ dysfunction. Teeth may be corrected with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or other types of dental restorations. Many procedures can be completed in a single visit using Apex Dental’s advanced CEREC technology.
Schedule a Consultation for TMJ Therapy
Consider the millions of dollars spent each year on over the counter pain relievers, doctors visits and time missed from work because of undiagnosed TMJ dysfunction. Contact Massachusetts dentist Dr. Robert Gauthier at Apex Dental in Northborough for a consultation and to learn more about TMJ treatment.
We warmly welcome new patients and gladly see out of town patients. If you need to schedule a pre-consultation to discuss your specific issue, please contact our office at 508-506-1691 or schedule an appointment online.