Do you know that one of the most used joints in the body is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)? You use it to talk, eat, and even breathe. You may have a TMJ disorder when you experience headaches while chewing or have trouble opening your mouth and notice your jaw clicking.
You are at the right place if you are looking for a dentist who offers TMJ treatment in St. Louis, MO to help stabilize your bite. At Soulard Family Dentistry, we provide the best and required treatment to give you the bite and smile you desire.
In this guide, our dentist in St. Louis, Dr. Mandefro, will discuss the best treatment options for TMJ disorders and help you stabilize your bite. We will explore alternative treatments and tips to help you manage TMJ effectively.
What Is TMJ Treatment?
The question for most patients is what is a TMJ treatment and how do they know they need one. TMJ treatment is a corrective procedure that helps cure and relieve pains and dysfunction in the joint or muscles surrounding your TMJ. The TMJ is a pair of joints connecting the jawbone to the skull. Your temporomandibular joints are on both sides of the face and in front of the ears.
Getting a professional TMJ treatment in St. Louis depends on various factors, including your pain severity and the disorder’s underlying cause. First, Dr. Mandefro uses non-invasive options to treat TMJ disorders, such as non-surgical treatments or medications. However, jaw surgery may be recommended if your symptoms don’t improve.
How Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder Affects Your Bite
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) can affect your bite in various ways. First, the TMJ disorder or dysfunctionality is brought on when your jaw becomes misaligned. As a result, your bite is not balanced, and the muscles in your jaws become stretched from their natural resting position.
If you are experiencing TMJD in St. Louis, it can lead to several problems and painful symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty eating
- Severe pain when you open your mouth wide
- Trouble sleeping
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Malocclusion (misaligned bite)
How Do Our TMJ Treatments Work?
On some occasions, the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may go away without having to visit the dentist. However, if your symptoms persist, you must visit the dentist for the most appropriate treatment recommendations.
The TMJ treatment offered by our St. Louis dentist consists of the following:
- Medications: If your symptoms aren’t severe, our dentist may prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) medications that may help relieve pains associated with TMJ disorders in St. Louis and other non-surgical treatments.
- Pain Relievers and Anti-Inflammatories: If OTC pain medications aren’t strong enough to relieve your TMJ pain, your dentist may prescribe other TMJ treatments and pain relief available in St. Louis, such as Ibuprofen.
- Muscle Relaxants: A muscle relaxant is another form of TMJ treatment in St. Louis. Our dentist prescribes drugs that help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders. The pain may initially come from muscle spasms.
- Therapies: Therapies are other TMJ treatments our St. Louis dentist offers to cure TMJ disorders. The no-drug therapies for TMJ disorder include:
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapies include exercises, such as the goldfish exercise (partial and full opening), chin tucks, side-to-side jaw movement, and forward jaw movement, that can help stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles. Ultrasound, moist heat, and ice are other forms of physical therapy your dentist can recommend.
- Oral Splints or Mouth Guards: Your dentist may recommend using oral splints to relieve pain and improve your jaw function so it can move smoothly.
- Counseling: Counseling helps you understand the causes of TMJ disorders and the factors or actions that can increase your pain. This helps you avoid these activities and follow your treatment to the letter.
Are You A Candidate for TMJ Treatments?
Are you wondering if you’re a candidate for TMJ treatments in St. Louis? There are a few things you should know.
After your dentist has discussed your symptoms, they will examine your jaw and perform the following assessment:
- Pay attention to how your jaw feels when you open and close your mouth.
- Examine your jaw’s range of motion.
- Press on the regions surrounding your jaw to find any soreness or pain.
Should your dentist or physician notice an issue, you might require:
- X-rays of your teeth and jaw;
- CT scan to produce fine-grained images of the bones involved in the joint;
- An MRI to identify issues with the disc of the joint or the soft tissue around it.
Stabilize Your Bite With TMJ Treatment In St. Louis, MO
If you are looking for the best TMJ doctors in St. Louis who can help stabilize your bite, Dr. Mandefro is your go-to option. We approach your TMJ disorder from a different point of view to provide the most suitable treatment for your condition.
Our dentist in St. Louis may recommend a stabilization orthotics or bite guard that helps place the jaw in a balanced position. A guard will make sure your jaw’s position aligns with your jaw joints, muscles, and teeth. Dr. Mandefro may also recommend exercises if the condition requires one.
If you have problems with TMJ in St Louis, schedule an appointment with us so we can discuss the best course of treatment for you.