TMJ

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If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Cameron, Liberty, or Kansas City, you’ve come to the right place! Creekwood Orthodontics is here to help give you a straighter and healthier smile. We’re not only capable of doing this through our high-quality orthodontic treatments and types of braces though—we also offer TMJ treatment to help heal your smile. If you’re unfamiliar as to what ‘TMJ’ is, we’d like to take the time to tell you more about it.


What Is TMJ?

The TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, or jaw joint. It connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone of the skull and assists in the opening and closing movements of the jaw. TMJ is often used interchangeably with TMD, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder—an orthodontic disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint and can cause recurrent pain in this joint and the surrounding muscles. TMD can affect a person’s ability to speak, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe. When TMD goes untreated, it can cause problems to other parts of the face, head, and neck.

Symptoms of TMD

IMG_5615--1-.jpgTMD is actually the most common orofacial disorder that’s seen by health care workers today. About seven million adults have pain in or near the TMJ. It’s even estimated that about 30 percent of all adults will experience some kind of TMD sometime during their lives. It can occur in all age groups and types of people though it most frequently occurs to women. Some symptoms of TMD include:

  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joints when either opening or closing the mouth.

  • A limited ability to open the mouth.

  • Constant headaches or facial pain.

  • Pain or tenderness in either the neck or the ear when opening the mouth wide.


We should note that many of these symptoms may be a result of other, unrelated conditions. If you have any of them, we recommend coming to visit your Kansas City orthodontist so that you can undergo an accurate diagnosis.

Causes of TMD

While not all causes are known for TMD, there are several that have a strong relationship with it. These include:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

  • Extensive dental procedures

  • Arthritis

  • Injuries

  • Genetics

  • Hormones

  • Autoimmune diseases

 

Our Kansas City TMJ Treatment

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At Creekwood Orthodontics, we offer a TMJ exam that will evaluate the joint tissue in the hinge of your jaw. We’ll look for problems that include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue, and damaged joint tissue. For most cases of TMD, we’ll simply recommend common pain relievers and cold compresses to provide temporary relief. 


For those with more serious cases of TMD, we’ll recommend alternate TMJ treatment. We may suggest using a mouthguard to relieve any teeth grinding or we may instruct you to use an orthodontic appliance to redirect positioning of your TMJ joint and alleviate some discomfort. For the most severe cases of TMD, an invasive procedure may be recommended.

Contact Your Kansas City, Cameron, and Liberty Orthodontist!

If you’re looking for TMJ treatment or you’re interested in orthodontic treatment, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us. To do so, you can schedule a consultation through our website or give us a call at (816) 454-6800. We hope to see you soon!