Relieve Your Jaw Pain
Have you noticed a popping or clicking whenever you open or close your mouth? Are you suffering from jaw pain or headaches that won’t go away? All of these could be the sign of a TMJ disorder, a condition that can make eating, speaking or laughing very uncomfortable until it’s treated. If you think you might be suffering from this condition, make an appointment with Aspen Dental Care right away to ask about TMJ therapy in Ft. Collins.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The term “TMJ” stands for “temporomandibular joint”; this is the hinge on either side of your lower jaw that connects it to the rest of your head and lets you move your mouth to perform daily tasks like talking and chewing. If the joint becomes strained or injured, the condition is called a TMJ disorder. While this often leads to jaw discomfort, many patients are surprised to learn that it can also cause pain in the head, neck, shoulders and lower back. While a TMJ disorder isn’t life-threatening, it can often cause your quality of life to decrease significantly.
Signs and Risk Factors of TMJ Disorder
There are a number of symptoms that could point to a TMJ disorder; sometimes they can be simply annoying, but in other cases they can be debilitating. Possible signs include:
- Chronic migraines, headaches or earaches
- Persistent facial or jaw pain
- Pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back
- A popping or clicking sound in the jaw
- Teeth grinding and tooth wear
Note that you might not experience all of these symptoms at once, but you should call your dentist in Ft. Collins if you have concerns.
It’s not always clear what the cause of a TMJ disorder is, but risk factors include different kinds of arthritis, jaw injuries, long-term grinding and clenching of the teeth, and certain connective tissue diseases.
How to Treat TMJ Disorder
The proper treatment will depend on the kind of TM J disorder you have. In many cases, we’ll use oral appliance therapy to relieve your symptoms. The appliance will be customized so that it fits comfortably in your mouth and will reposition your jaw so that it stays in a more comfortable resting position and takes pressure off the TMJ.
There are a few things you can do at home to improve your TMJ disorder symptoms, such as using ice packs to reduce swelling or avoiding hard, chewy or thick foods. We’ll perform a thorough examination that’ll let us create a treatment plan so you can start smiling pain-free again!