Man with jaw painDo you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, or suffer from chronic headaches? When you open your mouth, do you hear popping or clicking sounds emanating from your jaw? Do you experience trouble opening or closing your jaw completely?

If this sounds like you, chances are you have TMJ disorder. At Docklands Dental Studio, we can perform a thorough exam to determine if you suffer from the disorder, then recommend a treatment that will best work for you.

If you would like to learn more about TMJ disorder and how to treat it, call our Docklands dental office today at (03) 9021-9487 and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder is a condition in which the temporomandibular joints connecting the upper and lower jaw do not function correctly. These joints help the lower jaw move, allowing you to open and close your mouth with ease.

When the joints, and their attached muscles, fail to work together correctly, it can cause a painful misalignment we refer to as TMJ disorder, or TMD. Our doctors will perform a check for occlusion, which refers to how your upper and lower jaws meet when you bite, to determine if you have TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can present with many different symptoms. Unfortunately, most of these symptoms can also occur with other problems, so you may find it hard to know for sure if you have TMJ disorder. The doctors will carefully examine your mouth and jaw and take detailed x-rays to help them make their diagnosis.

Symptoms of TMD include:

  • Dull headaches in the temple area
  • Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw when you open your mouth
  • Sudden misalignment of the upper and lower teeth
  • Persistent pain in the jaw, especially when chewing or yawning
  • Pain similar to an earache, when you have no ear problems
  • Jaw getting stuck or locking

If you experience persistent pain in your jaw, or cannot completely open or close it, call us immediately so the doctors can make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

The exact cause for a patient’s TMD can sometimes prove elusive, as several factors may contribute to the disorder. The upper and lower bones of the temporomandibular joint are separated by a small disk of bone that allows for smooth movement of the jaw. If this disk should move out of alignment or erode, it will lead to TMJ disorder.

Other possible causes include:

  • Arthritis
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Dislocation or other injury to the jaw
  • Stress
  • Malocclusion

Treating Your TMD

Our doctors can suggest several types of treatment for TMD, from home remedies to prescription medications and mouth guards. Typically, the doctors will recommend trying conservative home treatments first.

These remedies may include options such as eating soft foods, using heat packs on the jaw to alleviate inflammation, and avoiding foods like caramels and chewing gum. The doctors may also suggest that you try relaxation techniques like meditation to relax the jaw tension.

If you do not experience any relief after trying home remedies, the doctors have the option of prescribing muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs to try and relax the jaw muscles.

For most patients, however, they will usually suggest a mouth guard. Worn at night, while you sleep, a mouth guard will prevent your teeth from coming together and grinding, and will force your jaw into proper alignment.

Call Our Office Today

To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder, call our Docklands dental office at (03) 9021-9487 and schedule a visit with one of our doctors today.