Treating jaw joint pain
Our clinician has extensive training in treating problems associated with the jaw joint and bite, or what we call ‘Temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) disorders’. These come in many forms and the symptoms can include:
- Painful clicking, popping or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth.
- Pain in the chewing muscles or jaw joint, especially first thing in the morning or in the evening after a stressful day.
- Soreness in the jaw.
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth or locking of the jaw.
- Jaw muscle stiffness.
- Headaches or radiating pain in the face, shoulders and neck.
- Ringing in the ears.
- A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.
- Can be mistaken for chronic toothache.
What causes it?
These problems have many contributing factors such as stress and grinding of teeth. Trauma to the jaw plays a role in some TMJ disorders. But for most jaw joint and muscle problems, scientists don’t know the cause. For many people, symptoms seem to start without an obvious reason. Research disputes the popular belief that a bad bite can trigger TMJ disorders. Because the condition is more common in women than in men, scientists are now exploring a possible link between female hormones and TMJ disorders.
How is it treated?
Our clinician is fully trained to diagnose these problems and treat them – this is called ‘TMJ therapy’ or ‘Jaw joint and bite therapy’. The therapy varies from self-management (self-care) practices that the clinician will teach you and give you full instructions, to wearing a soft splint (Night guard), or even a specialised stabilisation splint. This is carefully fabricated by a skilled technician and adjusted to relax the chewing muscles and place the jaw joint in a comfortable position to allow it to heal properly.
Once the pain has been resolved over a prolonged period, certain restorative and/or orthodontic treatment may be required to correct the bite in very specific cases as a long term measure to prevent future problems. Other cases are beyond the scope of these types of treatments and need a hospital referral for further assessment which our clinician will happily arrange for you.
In summary, careful planning and analysis will allow the treatment to be designed around your individual needs.
Contact us now to book a joint and bite consultation with our clinician.
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