“TMJ” is an acronym for “temporomandibular joint”, and it has come to be the commonly used term for issues with the joints of the jaw. The American Dental Association does not recognize a specialist designation for “TMJ Dentist”, but this does not mean that all dentists are equally qualified to treat TMJ issues. Dr. Perry can help nearly all patients with TMJ issues without surgery.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Direct symptoms of a TMJ disorder are fairly straight-forward:
- Jaw locking—In certain positions, your jaw may “catch” or lock, forcing you to shift your jaw from side to side until it releases, often with an alarmingly loud “pop.” This can be both uncomfortable and disconcerting.
- Clicking sounds—When you open and close your mouth, chew or talk, you may hear clicking or popping sounds. Even if this is not painful, this clicking tells you that the jaw joints are not functioning in the manner they should.
- Change in bite—This will be quite noticeable and distracting. Always talk to your dentist right away about any noticeable change in your bite, even if it is not painful.
Sometimes, however, the symptoms of a disorder involving the TMJ are not obvious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, Dr. Perry may be able to help you, without surgery.
- Persistent headaches—Usually located in the temples or in the back of the head, unexplained headaches are a common symptom of TMJ.
- Bruxism—Clenching or excessive grinding of the teeth is another common symptom, manifested by wearing of the teeth or jaw pain.
- Tender or aching facial muscles—This type of pain indicates that you clench your jaw while you sleep.
- Dizziness and/or hearing problems—The location of the joints of the jaw means that swelling or misalignment can interfere with the proper function of the structures of the ear. This can result in dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or inexplicable ear aches.
- Sinus stuffiness—This symptom is usually taken to a doctor’s office first, and when no congestion is detected, it goes untreated.
- Depression or problems sleeping—Depression can be the result of chronically untreated pain and/or sleep deprivation. Many of the symptoms of TMJ disorders interfere with your ability to sleep.
Non-Surgical Treatment of TMJ Disorders
Dr. Perry is able to treat most cases of TMJ with a custom-designed oral appliance. This non-surgical intervention is vastly preferred to more invasive and extreme methods. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and have been searching for a Baton Rouge TMJ dentist, talk to Dr. Perry about how he can help.