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TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the jaw to the top of the skull. When a patient clenches their teeth, usually while they are asleep, it can strain the TMJ and cause very painful symptoms, especially when the patient first wakes up. If you or someone in your household has been suffering from the effects of TMJ, we recommend contacting our office to schedule a consultation with our team so we can assist.
Any pain or discomfort in and around the jaw can potentially be attributed to TMJ. The most common signs of TMJ include:
TMJ can go away on its own, and some patients only clench their teeth during the night when they are going through a stressful time in life. If you are someone who only experiences TMJ symptoms on occasion, we still recommend seeking treatment for it. When a patient clenches and grinds their teeth at night, even if it’s not every single night, using a nightguard to protect the teeth and jaw is really important. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your teeth and temporomandibular joint!
TMJ can be treated using a custom mouthguard that the patient wears at night when they are clenching their teeth. The custom fit helps the mouthguard to feel more comfortable while it protects the teeth from damaging each other and alleviates the pressure that would otherwise be placed on the temporomandibular joint. TMJ can also be treated using physical therapy exercises that stretch out the jaw muscles. In serious cases, TMJ is treated with surgery, but a custom mouthguard from a dentist is usually preferred whenever possible.