Solutions for TMJ-Related Disorders
Some of our patients suffer from pain and swelling in the throat, neck pain, earaches, or popping noises when they move their jaw. These signs mean they’re more than likely suffering from a TMJ disorder which is a severe medical condition that requires professional assistance.
Dr. Dale Spadafora has extensive training in the oral structure, including the jaw and throat, which is where TMJ issues arise. He’s an experienced dentist who has dealt with countless TMJ cases so that he can diagnose and treat any patient’s condition.
What Is TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder describes a family of issues related to the joints of the jaw. Each person has two TMJs, located just below their ears. The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body because it moves in multiple directions at once. Furthermore, the TMJ is extremely active because people use it to eat, drink, and speak every day.
Symptoms & Causes of TMJ Disorders
TMJ disorders can occur for various reasons, although the most common is an injury to the upper jaw. It’s possible to stretch or tear the muscle ligaments that support the joint—also, injury or arthritis can cause direct damage. When the joint or muscles are damaged, the cartilage disk that cushions the joint can slip out of place. Other actions that can contribute to TMJ disorders include grinding teeth, bad posture, arthritis, stress, and excessive gum or ice chewing.
When a TMJ-related issue happens, some of the symptoms a patient can expect are as follows:
- Misaligned teeth
- Pain and swelling in the TMJ region
- Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- Neck pain
- Clicking noises when talking, eating, or yawning
- Difficulty eating
After Dr. Spadafora evaluates the patient’s case and confirms a TMJ disorder diagnosis, he will discuss their treatment options—all of which will improve the harmony and function of their jaw.
Treating TMJ Disorders
Unlike other doctors, dentists have unique knowledge about the TMJ area, allowing them to identify the symptoms accurately. Dr. Spadafora can use his wide-reaching expertise to diagnose and treat a patient’s issues.
Once Dr. Spadafora makes the proper diagnosis, he will craft the patient’s treatment plan. He might recommend medication, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, or surgery. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the patient’s disorder, and their jaws range of motion.
Another type of treatment—that a patient wears during sleep is called oral splints. This method is beneficial for patients whose TMJ problems are related to nighttime teeth grinding. Dr. Spadafora can make this mouthguard-like device in our office.
While there are many viable treatment options, none of them will resolve TMJ disorders alone. With the help of Dr. Spadafora, our Hermitage patients can restore health and comfort to their jaws.