Are you looking for a TMJ dentist in Wesley Chapel? If so, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our dental office by calling (813) 358-6808. We are conveniently located in Wesley Chapel, and we treat patients from 33544 and surrounding areas. During your first appointment, we will conduct a gentle examination and ask questions in order to understand the full extent of your symptoms and how they are impacting you on a daily basis. It is critical that you see a dentist who appreciates the nature of TMJ and the need for caution during dental care. Otherwise, you could further irritate your jaw and muscles, leading to additional discomfort.
Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ disorders) are fairly common and can manifest in various ways. There are two temporomandibular joints in your body – one on each side of your head, located in front of your ears. TMJ, as a condition, develops when there is a problem with these joints as they connect the jawbone to the skull, or there are problems with the muscles responsible for chewing. As a TMJ dentist, we find that many people suffer from the condition without knowing that they have it and are, therefore, unable to seek treatment. If you notice any of the symptoms, we recommend that you call our office at (813) 358-6808 to schedule an examination to ascertain whether you do indeed have TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ
TMJ disorder will often manifest itself in ways that appear to be unconnected to the jaw. This may include severe headaches or ear, neck, and face pain. While many people attribute these symptoms to stress or issues with their spine, they are often a result of this condition and can be rectified. Other more obvious symptoms include difficulty chewing or biting down, a popping or clicking sound when opening and closing the jaw, and jaw pain. In some cases, TMJ becomes so bad that a person can’t even open their mouth. This is the extreme, and there are almost always signs along the way. By the time people reach this point, they have typically been experiencing discomfort in the mornings or throughout the day, difficulty chewing and a lack of mobility with their jaw in general. As a TMJ dentist, we treat patients throughout Wesley Chapel, FL who have this condition, and we recommend individuals come in at the first sign of irritation so that you can begin treatment before it becomes severe.
Causes of TMJ
There are several causes of TMJ with many theories yet to be proven. Some claim that posture can be responsible for TMJ as can poor diet, a lack of sleep, and the cartilage disk found at the joint itself. As a TMJ dentist, we find that one of the most common causes of TMJ is clenching or grinding teeth at night. During times of high stress, many people fail to have a restful night’s sleep and take out their frustration by inadvertently clenching their jaw closed or grinding down their teeth while sleeping. This can manifest very early in life, with even children being impacted by teeth grinding. When this takes place, the muscles and joints are forced to remain in a tense position, leading to pain in the joints and muscles the following morning. If this happens only occasionally, you may have a minor headache and feel better the next day. If, however, this is occurring on a nightly basis, TMJ symptoms can begin to manifest, and you will begin to feel less and less comfortable. You may want to pay particular attention to whether or not you have a headache or jaw pain after having a stressful day at work or being upset about something. If there is no correlation and the pain is consistent, you should seek treatment immediately by calling (813) 358-6808. Alternatively, if your discomfort it only now and then, you can bring up your concerns at your next dental examination in our Wesley Chapel office – as long as it is within the next several months.
As a TMJ dentist, we always recommend starting with the least invasive treatment method. It is important to avoid placing any additional stress on your joints so while it may seem tempting to rush into surgical procedures – wait. Start with gently massaging your jaw muscles a couple of times per day. We can show you how to do so without irritating the area or causing a flare-up. You may also want to analyze your diet to determine if any particular foods may be too difficult to chew, thereby making the problem worse. At Apex Dental, we often find that patients are increasing their jaw problems by regularly eating foods like tough meat and nuts that require more forceful chewing, placing stress on the muscles and jaw. By switching to soft foods or ones that are easily pulled apart, you may start to feel better immediately.
In our TMJ dentist office, we provide a non-invasive solution for helping patients to feel better. Since TMJ is often caused by teeth grinding or clenching, preventing the upper and lower teeth from touching is a fast way to experience relief. In our Wesley Chapel office, we can make an impression of your teeth and use it to create a custom night guard for you to wear while sleeping. The night guard is made of a clear and comfortable plastic that surrounds your upper and lower teeth, similar to the way a full retainer would function. The main difference is that the upper and lower portion attach, and by doing so, prevent your teeth from touching and your jaw from clenching. Very often, our patients report feeling better immediately, and every night that you sleep without grinding your teeth, you have the opportunity to increase the quality of your rest and wake up feeling energized – a win/win scenario. Since the night guard is small, easily removed and stored, there are no clunky devices to worry about, and you can take it with you when traveling.
Is Your Jaw Pain Caused by TMJ?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, causes chronic pain and discomfort that can be severe. Symptoms can be intermittent or constant and often surface during stressful times. It is currently estimated that more than ten million Americans suffer from TMJ. Up to 85 percent of the US population will experience some type of TMJ pain during their lifetime. Problems are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 40 but can happen to anyone at any time. If you are experiencing jaw pain, contact Apex Dental right away, and receive professional treatment to relieve you of your pain!
Types of TMJ
There are three types of TMJ, and a patient can have one or more types at the same time. Conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles and nerves can result in TMJ.
Myofascial pain is the most common TMJ condition. Pain or discomfort in the muscles that control the jaw can be caused by a variety of problems.
Arthritis is another common cause of TMJ. Arthritis contributes to degenerative and inflammatory problems in the temporomandibular joint.
Finally, internal displacement of a disc in the jaw joint, a dislocated jaw or injury to the lower jaw can cause TMJ.
There is no need to suffer from TMJ pain. Instead, see Dr. Fallah at Apex Dental promptly to design a TMJ treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms. Be sure to follow up with routine dental visits to monitor your TMJ treatment success. Most TMJ treatments are simple and can be done at home without the need for complicated devices or surgery. More severe cases may require the use of a splint, mouth guard or other therapy devices.
Temporary TMJ Pain Relief
Temporary measures to relieve pain from TMJ may be effective, but they do not treat the underlying condition. Use these techniques to help relieve TMJ pain until you can see your dentist:
Heat or cold packs applied to the jaw and temple may relieve pain temporarily. Hold the pack in place for no longer than 10 minutes at a time.
Avoid stretching the jaw and opening the mouth widely. Also limit pressure to the face or jaw from a phone receiver resting on the jaw or resting the jaw on the hand for extended periods.
Avoid chewing gum and foods that require long periods of chewing. Chewy candies, pretzels and raw vegetables require extended chewing that can aggravate TMJ symptoms.
Medications for TMJ pain can temporarily relieve pain but should not be used for extended periods without a dentist’s supervision. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and muscle relaxants are commonly used. In some cases, anti-anxiety medications or anti-depressants can be used.
Dr. Fallah and the staff at Apex Dental offer a variety of TMJ treatments. He will examine the structure and working of the jaw to determine the source of pain or discomfort and determine which TMJ treatment is best for you. Together, you will create a treatment plan and monitor your success.There is no need to put up with jaw pain. Make an appointment today to discuss your treatment options!
As a TMJ dentist, we speak with patients throughout the 33544 area who have visited medical providers in Florida that have recommended solving the problem surgically. At Apex Dental, we invite you to schedule an appointment to have your night guard created so that you can exhaust all options before considering escalating your treatment. Surgery is not something to be taken lightly and should only be performed as a last result. To further discuss our non-invasive solution, call (813) 358-6808 to speak with one of our team members today.