461 Bielby RD, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
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TMJ Therapy – Lawrenceburg, IN

Got Chronic Jaw Pain? Check Your TMJ!

Headaches, migraines, and jaw pain are common problems that plague the American population. As an experienced general dentist, Dr. Oyler finds the source of pain and may be able to alleviate it with simple, non-surgical therapies. For many, pain in the head, neck, jaw, mouth, and shoulders stems from TMJ dysfunction. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep or can’t work because of your symptoms, feel free to call our office to schedule an appointment!

What is the TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, the joints that connect the jaw to the temporal bone of the skull, which are located in front of the ears. The joints are part of a complex system of muscles and ligaments. These joints are sensitive to physical, emotional, and psychological stress, and even the smallest change in eating habits or a little added pressure may cause the whole system to malfunction.

TMJ disorder can develop in a number of ways, but one of the more common causes is chronic teeth grinding or bruxism. Bruxism can develop as a result of increased stress, anxiety, abnormal bite, crooked teeth, or tooth loss. If you have sleep apnea, it can also appear while you sleep. In most cases, bruxism occurs while asleep, which is also why it tends to go undiagnosed for long periods of time.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

Symptoms of TMJ disorder include facial, neck, and shoulder pain, earaches, dizziness, teeth sensitivity, jaw clicking or popping, teeth grinding (bruxism), and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. You may also experience tenderness or pain in your jaw or difficulty chewing certain foods. If you have persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, chronic headaches or migraines, or limitation of movement with your jaw, then it’s time for you to seek medical attention.

Common Risk Factors for TMJ Disorder

Chronic teeth grinding is among the most common risk factors for TMJ disorder, but it is not the only potential risk to keep in mind. TMJ can also develop as a result of a previous jaw injury. Certain conditions put you at risk as well, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and connective tissue diseases that may affect the TMJ.

Why Should You Get TMJ Therapy?

Other than reducing the chronic pain associated with TMJ disorder, failing to get treatment can lead to more serious complications later. For example, those who rely on certain medications to manage pain are not effectively treating the source of the issue. This can lead to developing a resistance to that painkiller or even a dependency or addiction to that drug.

Additionally, those with TMJ disorder are more likely to grind and clench their teeth, resulting in worn-down enamel. This can make it more difficult to chew foods and even cause a tooth to crack, resulting in a dental emergency and higher health care costs.

Finally, TMJ disorder can even lead to hearing problems without treatment. As mentioned, earaches are common for those with the condition. But since these joints are located near the ears, it can permanently compromise hearing, allow tinnitus to develop, and even cause balance issues (i.e. vertigo or recurring dizziness.)

What Does Treatment Entail?

If, after a comprehensive examination, Dr. Oyler finds that you suffer from TMJ disorder, he will develop a treatment plan to help alleviate stress and reset your jaw to its optimal position. Dr. Oyler uses state-of-the art technology to determine your jaw’s natural, comfortable resting position. He may design a custom mouthguard to realign the jaw joints or restore your teeth to reposition how the jaw sits when closed. TMJ therapy performed by an experienced general dentist in Lawrenceburg such as Dr. Oyler may ease the nagging pain that detracts from your quality of life.

Call today to schedule your comprehensive TMJ evaluation. Dr. Oyler's Lawrenceburg dental office treats patients from Greendale, Aurora, Bright, and beyond.