Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the spot where the jaw connects to the skull and allows you to close and open your jaw easily. Sometimes the TMJ is injured or damaged, resulting in a painful condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD). If you are experiencing pain or hearing popping and clicking when you move your jaw, schedule a consultation with experienced dentist Dr. Daniel Clement to determine if you have TMD. At his private practice, Great Lakes Bay Dental, in Midland, MI, Dr. Clement uses advanced equipment to examine and treat your TMD, easing your pain in the process. Your TMJ therapy will be based upon the cause of your TMD and your specific condition, but some options include oral appliances (mouth or night guards), bite modification procedures, dental restorations, and more.
Temporomandibular joint disorder could be brought on by a single injury to the jaw, chronic grinding of your teeth and clenching of your jaw (bruxism), or a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that might lead to TMD include a tumor in the TMJ or arthritis. In some cases, the reason for TMD could be uncertain. However, if you are experiencing signs and symptoms, Dr. Clement can still diagnose and treat your TMD. The most common symptoms of TMD are pain or tenderness in the jaw, spasms in your facial muscles, feeling as if your jaw is stiff or stuck, and headaches that begin near your ears. Another symptom is hearing clicking, cracking, or popping whenever you open your jaw.
What To Expect
To help diagnose a temporomandibular disorder, Dr. Clement will carefully listen to your concerns before performing a physical examination. During the exam, he will assess the movement of your jaw and start looking for indications of misalignment, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. He will also feel the jawbone and surrounding area for any tenderness and inflammation. Dr. Clement may order digital x-rays of your lower face or a bite analysis to look for any underlying causes that could help determine your treatment method. Based on the exam, he will go over your treatment options that could include a dental appliance, orthodontics, or restorations (crowns or bridges).
Along with procedures to fix the underlying cause of your temporomandibular joint disorder, Dr. Clement can recommend other means to ease pain and symptoms at home. This includes a liquid or soft food diet, avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails, heat packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. He can also give you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medicine to relax your muscles (and to ease pain, anxiety, or inflammation).
Continue to attend follow-up visits so Dr. Clement can check the progress of your TMJ therapy. If your treatment is not helping, he may consider a different approach. Once your TMD has been treated, you should keep attending your annual dental exams at Great Lakes Bay Dental to maintain your oral health and monitor the recovery of your TMJ.
Dental insurance coverage for TMJ pain diagnosis and TMD remedies will vary so we will contact your provider to calculate your out-of-pocket costs. Whether you have dental insurance or not, our team will go over cost estimates when reviewing treatment options. To make all treatments affordable, Great Lakes Bay Dental accepts many payment methods, and we can also help you find low-interest medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain makes it tough to chew, speak, and enjoy your day-to-day life. Since there are many possible causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), schedule a consultation with Dr. Daniel Clement at his office in Midland, MI. He will give you a thorough examination before your diagnosis and discuss any and all treatment options. Contact the team at Great Lakes Bay Dental to get more information and plan an appointment.