Chronic jaw pain that gets worse with stress may be the sign of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. At the Centre for Contemporary Dental Concepts in the North East Corner of Warner and Kyrene, in Tempe, Arizona, Trent W. Smallwood, DDS, and the team specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ. To book your appointment, call or use the online scheduling tool today.
Your temporomandibular joint attaches your jawbone to your skull. You have one temporomandibular joint on each side of your mouth, each of which assists you in opening your mouth, chewing, and speaking.
TMJ disorders typically cause pain in and around your jaw and prevent you from performing normal, everyday motions.
The symptoms of TMJ vary in severity, but often include:
Many people with TMJ disorders also experience clicking, popping, or locking of their jaw. If you experience these or similar symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with the team at the Centre for Contemporary Dental Concepts as soon as possible.
There’s no one standard test used to diagnose TMJ. Instead, Dr. Smallwood performs a thorough oral exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you a series of questions about your symptoms. He may also ask you to perform a series of exercises including opening your mouth and moving your jaw from side-to-side.
If these tests don’t provide adequate information, Dr. Smallwood may recommend 3D scans or digital X-rays to get a better look at your jawbone and surrounding muscles.
Whenever possible, Dr. Smallwood recommends conservative measures of treatment and simple lifestyle changes to relieve TMJ related pain. For example, eating soft foods, using ice to reduce swelling, and lowering your stress levels can ease muscle tension and help you feel better. Over-the-counter pain relievers and jaw stretching exercises may also provide relief.
If these methods of care are unable to ease your symptoms, Dr. Smallwood can prescribe a custom-fitted NTI night guard. The NTI guard is an FDA-approved device that’s small, removable, and designed to fit the unique contours of your mouth.
Once placed, the NTI guard helps relax your jaw, preventing teeth grinding, and eliminating tension headaches and chronic migraine.
Don’t let chronic jaw pain prevent you from getting a restful, rejuvenating night’s sleep. Book your TMJ consultation at Centre for Contemporary Dental Concepts by calling or clicking the online scheduling tool today.