TMJ

Benjamin C. Wang, DMD -  - Cosmetic Dentistry

Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry

Benjamin C. Wang, DMD

Cosmetic Dentistry & Implant Dentistry located in Portland, OR

Being unable to move your jaw smoothly and comfortably might seem like a temporary issue that doesn’t require treatment, especially if it comes and goes. At Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, the team, led by Benjamin Wang, DMD, treats issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) so they don’t worsen with time and overuse. To have your jaw examined for TMJ disorder, call Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, or book an appointment online today.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints that connect your upper jaw to your lower jaw. Its movement is responsible for your ability to bite down forcefully, chew, speak, yawn, and yell. You have two TMJs, one on either side of your jaw. 

Your TMJs are susceptible to developing joint disorders that affect their movement and comfort. If you have pain in your jaw or other symptoms, you likely have one of a group of disorders called TMJ disorders. 

Such issues often appear as the result of cartilage erosion from arthritis, an impact injury, or a slipped disc. The disc within the joint is responsible for shock absorption: If it moves out of place or erodes, it can cause discomfort when you move your jaw.

You’re especially susceptible to TMJ disorders if you habitually grind your teeth at night or during the day. 

What symptoms are associated with TMJ?

Symptoms of TMJ disorders are easy to identify because they all occur near the joint. If there’s an issue with one or both of your TMJs, it may cause:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain near your ears
  • Pain in your temples
  • Trouble chewing
  • Jaw locking
  • Clicking sounds when you move your jaw
  • The sensation of bones grating against each other

Some symptoms by themselves, like clicking, don’t require treatment and are likely to go away on their own. If you have pain associated with your TMJ or if your jaw continuously locks into place, you should seek treatment at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry as soon as possible.

How are TMJ complications treated?

There are numerous causes and management strategies available for TMJ disorders. When you come to Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry for treatment, the first step is to identify the cause of your TMJ. The team will ask about your current health, look at your jaw, check your bite, listen to any clicking or grating sounds, and may request an X-ray or other imaging technique to view the joints.  

Once they identify the cause and diagnose you with a TMJ disorder, they form a treatment plan fit for your needs. It may include:

  • Oral appliances to prevent grinding
  • Create a bite that is optimal for neuromuscular and joint harmony
  • Physical therapy and exercises
  • Pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxants

Request your TMJ assessment at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry by phoning the office or by requesting an appointment online to use your jaw pain-free again.