TMJ Disorder Causes and Treatment

TMJ disorder or syndrome is the pain in the jaw joint. The TMJ is connected to the lower jaw of the skull that is in front of the ear. When normal functions of the jaw such as talking, chewing, and swallowing become difficult and you experience pain in the face, neck or ears and have headaches, the temporomandibular joint syndrome is the probable diagnosis.

Dr. David Richter is a highly trained and experienced orthodontist with a special focus on treating complex bite disorders such as TMJ through orthodontia. Crooked teeth and other types of malocclusion can often be the underlying cause of a bite disorder, resulting in not only dental problems but a range of symptoms that can affect daily life.

Common Signs And Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, often characterized by tooth wear
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Limited mobility in the jaw
  • Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
  • Earaches

What are the Causes of TMJ Disorder?

There are several possible causes of TMJ which include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dislocation or injury of the jaw
  • Tooth and jaw alignment
  • Stress and teeth grinding

What are the Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder?

TMJ treatment may vary depending on the particular symptoms and the patient’s condition. Depending on the severity of your TMJ diagnosis, you may be able to use home remedies including:

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medications (aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen)
  • Eating softer foods
  • Avoiding hard candies and chewing gum
  • Avoiding stress
  • Periodically applying warm compresses to the affected areas

When malocclusion is the underlying cause for a bite disorder such as TMJ, orthodontic treatment can realign the teeth and bring the bite back into balance. Dr. Richter may also recommend an orthodontic appliance for patients needing to address a more complex problem associated with their jaw position. Treatment options may include:

  • Invisible Braces
  • Damon® brackets
  • Invisalign®
  • Invisalign Express®

Schedule A Consultation

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ or are concerned you have a bite problem affecting your dental health, schedule a consultation with Dr. Richter in our Greeley, CO office. We provide orthodontic care for both children and adults in a warm, friendly environment and can help you restore a comfortable, healthy smile that you feel good about.