Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is one of the most common maladies of the jaw, affecting millions of Americans. Because the condition can have far-reaching and often debilitating effects, Dr. John Rink offers TMJ disorder treatment at his Charleston office. If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder, like clenching and grinding, jaw pain, tenderness, or discomfort, schedule a consultation with Dr. Rink today to learn more about your treatment options.
The TMJs are the joints that connect the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bones of the skull. The TMJ is different from other joints in the body, since it has the ability to move the jaw in an up and down motion, as well as from side to side. To promote smooth, uninterrupted motion, each TMJ contains a soft disc of cartilage designed to absorb the shock from chewing and other movements. TMJ disorder is a condition of the joint, cartilage, muscles, or nerves that control the movement of the jaw.
TMJ disorder can arise from problems within the joint or the muscles surrounding it, causing:
Although the exact cause of TMJ disorder is often unknown, arthritis, teeth grinding, stress, poor posture, trauma, and excessive jaw clenching have been found to be contributors. All of these factors can produce or contribute to an imbalanced bite, which causes your TMJs to overcompensate in order to properly align your teeth when you bite down. This can lead to excessive wear on your teeth, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and other jaw problems.
At the Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, Dr. Rink can use a variety of diagnostic techniques to determine the cause of your TMJ disorder. He will then tailor a non-surgical treatment plan for you, specifically designed to lessen your pain and other symptoms, and correct any issues that may be causing this chronic condition. Additionally, if you have been suffering from TMJ disorder for an extended period of time, Dr. Rink can perform tooth restoration with dental crowns, dental implants, or dentures to repair any damage caused by excessive clenching or grinding.
Dr. Rink offers custom-designed bite splints (a type of mouth guard) to promote optimal jaw alignment and reduce the amount of pressure exerted on the TMJs. Bite splints are created from an impression of your teeth for a precise fit, and can be fixed in place or removable. Removable splints are generally worn only at night. Splints are made of a clear, comfortable plastic and will not interfere with previous dental work that you have had done. In fact, splints can protect cosmetic investments, like porcelain veneers, which can be damaged by excessive grinding.
TMJ disorder can be a very painful and frustrating condition, but it is highly treatable. If you have been putting up with clicking sounds, headaches, toothaches, jaw pain, or any other TMJ disorder-related symptoms, make an appointment with our office today.