Joseph Ramellini, DMD

Gabrielle Ramellini, DMD, Diplomate, ABDSM

Joseph Ramellini, DMD

Gabrielle Ramellini, DMD, Diplomate, ABDSM

TMJ Treatment in Clyde, NC

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and TMJ disorder occurs when this joint in the jaw becomes misaligned or fails to move how it should. You may have TMJ disorder if you are experiencing jaw pain (especially when chewing), stiff jaw muscles, pain in the face or neck, earaches, or a change in the way your teeth fit together. When you see a dentist for TMJ pain, they may listen to the sounds your jaw makes, observe the range of motion of your jaw, or press around area to identify sensitive areas. If you’d like to see a dentist for TMJ disorder, feel free to reach out to our team and we will be more than happy to assist you!

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What causes TMJ?

Determining the exact cause of a TMJ disorder can be difficult, even for professionals. Here are some common causes of TMJ:

  • Physical injury, like a blow to the jaw or whiplash
  • Arthritis in the jaw
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Orthodontic braces
  • Structural jaw problems from birth
  • Excessive gum chewing

This list is not exhaustive, as there are a number of other things that can cause TMJ pain. Research studies are currently being conducted on other factors that have been associated with TMJ, but haven’t been proven to cause it. Variables like prolonged stress, poor posture, and lack of sleep could also contribute to TMJ disorder.

How is TMJ treated?

The good news is, there are a few things you can try on your own for TMJ pain before seeking additional help. There are jaw stretches and massages that your dentist can recommend or that you can find tutorials for online. Avoiding sticky or chewy foods, cutting food into smaller pieces, and just using the jaw less can be helpful. For some patients, acupuncture or botox injections work well for TMJ pain. For more severe cases, medications and surgeries may be the best option. Talking to your dentist can help you determine which course of action is right for you.

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