Treating TMJ Disorder
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders affect over 10 million Americans. When left untreated, joint disorders can cause oral health issues including tooth damage and tooth loss. Dr. Andy Maples works with joint specialists to determine the cause of your disorder and design a custom TMJ treatment plan. Treatments for joint disorders range from custom mouthguards to jaw surgery. During your consultation at our Loveland, CO, dental practice, we will review your symptoms and recommend a solution that can provide the relief you need.
Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?
Although the exact cause of TMJ disorders is unknown, there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing a condition, including:
- Joint, jaw, or muscle injury
- Excessive teeth grinding (bruxism)
The most common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Popping or grinding noises when you open or close your mouth
- Difficulty opening your mouth wide
- Pain when eating
- Facial swelling
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Excessively worn or loose teeth
- Frequent headaches
A proper diagnosis is essential in order to achieve relief from these painful symptoms.
Diagnosing Your Condition
During your dental exam, Dr. Maples will conduct a few tests to assess the health of your joints. He will also ask you about your symptoms and review your medical history.
In some cases, diagnosing your condition is a team effort. In order to find out what is triggering your TMJ pain, Dr. Maples may refer your case to a joint specialist who can determine the cause of your symptoms. For many patients, malocclusion or other anatomical abnormalities are the cause.
Studies have found that mouthguards can be effective for treating a TMJ disorder in its earliest stages.