TMJ in Dayton, OH
Go ahead and put your fingers in front of your ears. Now, open and close your mouth. Do you feel those joints moving under your fingertips? Those are your temporomandibular (TMJ) joints. These joints connect your jaw bone to your skull. When TMJ joints become dysfunctional, a person can experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms.
At Gamber Family Dental in Beavercreek and Dayton OH, our dentist Dr. Alex Gamber can diagnose and treat a range of TMJ disorders using some of the most advanced and innovative tools and technologies available today.
Types of TMJ Disorders
Several kinds of TMJ disorders exist. The three main types include:
- Pain in the muscles that control the TMJs
- Arthritis of the TMJ joints
- Internal damage caused by an injury to the jaw or joint
TMJ disorders often co-occur with other conditions such as fibromyalgia, depression, or chronic fatigue syndrome. Other than direct trauma, it may not always be clear what causes TMJ disorder. Factors such as hormones, posture, the nervous system, and even stress all may play a role in its development.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ signs and symptoms can vary. They may come and go or get worse over time—especially if they are left untreated. Leading signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Pain that may radiate into the face, head, neck, or shoulders
- Stiffness in the jaw
- Impaired or limited movement in the jaw
- Locking of the jaw or a sensation that the jaw is about to lock
- Clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw that is either felt and/or heard
- An unusual change in the way the upper and lower teeth align together
It’s not known for sure how many people experience TMJ disorders, but it’s been estimated to affect at least 10 million Americans. It seems to be more common in women but can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
How is TMJ Dysfunction Diagnosed?
Right now there aren’t any single or standard tests that can be used to confirm a diagnosis of TMJ. In keeping with standard best practice techniques, our dentist will ask you about your symptoms and medical history, evaluate your posture, and examine your oral and dental health. Dr. Gamber may also request imaging studies like X-rays of your jaw to help confirm a diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
How Our Dayton and Beavercreek Dentist Treats TMJ
We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Gamber is a fully-certified practitioner of BOTOX® injections for TMJ relief! BOTOX® is a type of injectable medication best known for temporarily alleviating the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. But this medication is currently used for more than just cosmetic purposes.
For example, BOTOX® is shown by some research to alleviate pain from conditions like headaches, migraines, and TMJ disorders.
BOTOX® works by temporarily paralyzing muscles of the face. For TMJ sufferers, this may prevent them from overly-clenching their jaw muscles or grinding their teeth. In this way, BOTOX® may help alleviate jaw tension that often contributes to TMJ dysfunction. Most of our patients who receive BOTOX® for TMJ pain relief notice improvements within a few days after their first treatment, while some see the most benefit after about a week.
Other treatments for TMJ pain include:
- Stabilization splints or bite guards
- Physical therapy, including stretches and exercises to improve jaw alignment and posture
- Self-care practices including self-massage techniques, stress management, the use of cold compresses, the avoidance of activities that can stress the jaw (e.g., gum chewing or wide yawning), and dietary modifications (e.g., eating softer foods)
- Pain medication
- Medical management of other underlying health conditions including fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraine headaches
Do you believe you’re struggling from TMJ dysfunction? Contact Gamber Family Dental at 1.937.258.2441 to schedule an appointment and get the relief you deserve. Our team can help you figure out what’s causing your symptoms and provide you with a customized solution to help you start feeling better as soon as possible.