How Do You Diagnose TMJ?

How Do You Diagnose TMJ?

Team TMJ

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint syndrome, is always painful. Getting relief is needed, through your dentist’s careful diagnosis you can get that relief!

We know that when TMJ strikes the muscles and the joints in your jaw, it can hurt whenever you open your mouth or close it again. And it can interrupt your sleep and cause discomfort throughout the day.

TMJ Causes Vary

What causes TMJ suffering can vary. Typically, pain is caused by things such as:

  • Bruxism, or chronic teeth clenching or grinding
  • A serious injury to your teeth or to your jaw
  • Jaw or teeth that are misaligned
  • Chewing gum frequently

TMJ pain can be caused by any of these problems. 

How Do You Diagnose TMJ?

Treating your TMJ successfully begins with identifying it! Usually, TMJ is diagnosed through a routine dental checkup. 

Your skilled dentist will:

  • Look at the way your mouth opens and closes, and your mouth’s range of motion
  • Discover the areas that are causing you discomfort by touching your jaw and face area, as well as feeling and pressing on the joints of your jaw when opening and closing your mouth
  • Use cone beam computed tomography or CBCT scans to reveal a detailed image in 3-D to look at your tmj joint and space 
  • Utilize MRI scans in order to see the soft tissues located both in and also around your jaw joints, including any the functionality of your TMJ disc

Are There Different Types of TMJ Pain?

There are a variety of different types of TMJ pain. The most common is called myofascial pain, which comes from teeth grinding or the clenching of your jaw. 

Other types of TMJ pain can originate with trauma, including that which causes a displaced disc or a jaw that’s dislocated can create internal joint derangement.

Arthritis is another cause of TMJ pain, and if that is discovered to be the cause, your dentist and your doctor will usually collaborate together on your treatment plan.

How Do You Treat TMJ? 

The pain caused by TMJ can be treated in a number of different ways, including simple treatments such as using over-the-counter pain relief, cold compresses, and by eating soft foods that reduce the need to chew during flare-ups. 

Your dentist can also create a customized Tmj mouth orthotic  that reduces stress on your TMJ, as well as preventing continued teeth grinding or the clenching of your jaw while you sleep. This is not the same as a general flat night guard. A TMJ orthotic balances the TMJ joint space,  corrects the jaw placement by having balanced muscles to stop clenching and  can help you have better posture and breathing . 

Orthodontic treatments can be used if bite issues are the cause of your TMJ; and if necessary, oral surgery can be an option.

Our skilled dental team can diagnose the cause of your TMJ and provide the most effective treatment protocols for your situation, including:

  • Spray & Stretch exercises  for your jaw
  • Trigger Point Injections to relieve TMJ pain
  • Heat and Cold Pack therapy
  • TENS Therapy
  • Appliances for pain relief
  • Medication from muscle relaxers to anti-inflammatory help
  • A sphenopalatine ganglion or SPG nerve block to disrupt pain from migraine headaches and TMJ, administered to the SPG area behind your nasal cavity

TMJ Pain Treatment is Important

Whatever the diagnosis and treatment plan, getting help with your TMJ is important to relieve your suffering and prevent worsening over time, as well as to preserve and restore your oral health. 

Learn More About TMJ Treatment

To find out more about the TMJ diagnosis and treatment options we can offer you, just reach out to us at the TMJ Wellness Center. Call us, today.