What Does a TMJ Dentist Do?

Tmj Dentist Tucson, AZ

A TMJ dentist is a dental professional who spends their days diagnosing and treating disorders that are related to the temporomandibular joint. This joint acts as a sliding hinge by connecting the jaw to the rest of the skull. Unfortunately, it can malfunction, which typically results in discomfort and dysfunction of the entire jaw.

Thankfully, TMJ dentists exist and the role that they play is one that is crucial when it comes to treating the disorder. There is a lot to know about TMJ dentists, all of which can be quite beneficial to those suffering from the disorder. Continue reading to learn more.

A quick guide to TMJ dentists

Below is an overview of what TMJ dentists do, including the role they play in treating TMJ disorder and how they can be a good resource to dental patients.

Education and training

TMJ dentists are typically general dentistry professionals who first get their certification as general dentists. This means that they can practice general dentistry, offering services ranging from teeth whitening to dental crown placement. General dentists offer routine dental services to patients of a wide range of ages.

One service that has become more common over the years is treating TMJ disorder. This disorder is one that requires the expertise of a TMJ dentist due to the potential risks that it brings on.

The additional training that TMJ dentists undergo focuses on the jaw, skull, and of course, the oral cavity. Having an understanding of how the temporomandibular joint can affect the jaw is key when it comes to treating the disorder, which is why TMJ dentists are such great resources to utilize.

Their role in treating TMJ disorder

When it comes to treating TMJ disorder, it is important to have a clear understanding of what dentists can do. There is a wide range of treatment options, all of which are known to be quite effective in treating the symptoms that result from TMJ disorder.

It is advised to visit a TMJ dentist as soon as symptoms are noticed to ensure that things do not get worse. Warning signs include jaw locking and clicking, soreness in the area, pain when eating or opening the jaw, neck and ear pain, and headaches. It is especially crucial to visit a TMJ dentist if there are multiple warning signs occurring at once.

Once symptoms are detected, the role of a TMJ dentist becomes more crucial. First, the dentist will evaluate the symptoms and examine the oral cavity. From there, a treatment plan will be put into place, which will likely include a lot of trial and error. Not all treatments are suitable for one's specific TMJ disorder as there are many factors involved, such as severity, levels of pain, and other health conditions. Some of the most common treatments for TMJ disorder include the following:

  • Medications, such as muscle relaxers to loosen the jaw. This helps to reduce locking, clicking, and even pain
  • Diet changes can be helpful as softer foods are easier on the jaw. Chewy, tough, and extremely hard foods can be damaging to one's TMJ disorder
  • Physical therapy is known to be beneficial to the oral cavity and surrounding area when suffering from TMJ disorder
  • Counseling is recommended for those struggling with severe stress and anxiety, both of which can lead to TMJ disorders
  • Oral devices, such as mouthguards or nightguards can be beneficial in treating TMJ disorders because they protect the teeth from grinding and the jaw from clenching

Of course, there are other avenues that TMJ dentists may explore, however, the ones that are listed above are the most common. Other options include joint surgery and nerve stimulation, which tend to be recommended for severe cases of TMJ disorder.

Are you looking for a TMJ dentist?

When suffering from TMJ disorder, it is best to consult with a professional. Most general dentists are equipped to treat this common disorder, and if the scope of treatment requires it they can refer the patient to another specialist as needed.

TMJ dentists can answer questions and go over any concerns that may exist. In addition, they can evaluate the disorder as a whole and determine what type of action may be necessary. In some cases, aggressive treatment might be necessary, whereas others may only require mild to moderate attention.

To learn more or to get scheduled with a TMJ dentist, contact our dental office today.

Request an appointment here: https://www.simplysmilesdentist.com or call Simply Smiles Dentistry at (520) 368-3351 for an appointment in our Tucson office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Tucson, AZ.

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