Freedom from Temporomandibular Joint Pain in New Jersey
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder results from the excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth, or from a poorly aligned bite. The TMJ attaches the lower jaw to the base of the skull, and people suffering from TMJ disorder can experience chronic pain in the form of headaches and earaches, and may have difficulty chewing, swallowing, and speaking. Fortunately, by using appliances to reposition patients’ bites, Laser Dentistry of North Jersey can help alleviate these symptoms.
To determine whether you would benefit from TMJ treatment, contact Dr. Richard L. Bucher in Oakland, New Jersey today. Being fitted with a bite splint has helped many patients experience great relief from painful TMJ symptoms.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Because the symptoms are so varied, some patients may have difficulty recognizing TMJ disorder. The clenching of the muscles connecting the jaw to the base of the skull can create a host of painful sensations:
- Earaches and severe headaches are among the most commonly reported symptoms of patients with TMJ disorder.
- If you have a toothache that is not caused by decay or gum disease, TMJ disorder may be to blame. In fact, the pressure put on teeth by constant clenching and grinding can lead to tooth loosening or loss.
- A “clicking” or “popping” sensation when opening or closing the mouth occurs when the joints are misaligned with their sockets.
- Some patients with severe TMJ disorder experience difficulty eating, chewing, and speaking, slurring their words as a result of chronic jaw tightness.
Treating TMJ with a Bite Splint
While TMJ disorder may be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma to the jaw or whiplash, the most common reason people experience this painful condition is an improperly aligned bite affecting the temporomandibular joint itself. When teeth do not rest properly, the lower jaw may be pushed out of alignment, disassociating the joints from their sockets. To correct this problem, Dr. Bucher offers bite splints, the most effective form of TMJ treatment, at his New Jersey family dentistry practice.
A bite splint is an appliance designed to prevent teeth from touching one another, with the goal of encouraging the patient’s tongue, teeth, and lips to rest properly. A bite splint will relax jaw muscles, restoring comfort and ease to chewing, swallowing, and speaking.
First, Dr. Bucher will thoroughly examine your temporomandibular joints and bite (clinically known as “occlusion”). Then, he will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth, which will be used to custom-craft your bite splint from hard acrylic resin. When the bite splint is worn for the recommended amount of time (which can be during the day, during the night, or both), muscles will gradually adjust to the new position. Then a process called occlusal equilibration can be done to help the teeth accommodate to the new bite position. This position can also be accomplished by restoring or reconstructing a person’s dentition. Throughout your treatment process, Dr. Bucher will invite you back for follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, readjusting your bite splint as necessary.
Learn More about TMJ Treatment
If you are seeking relief from the pain of TMJ disorder, contact Laser Dentistry North Jersey. Dr. Bucher provides customized TMJ treatments to patients throughout Bergen County, New Jersey, relieving discomfort and restoring function to the jaw.