Temporo-mandibular joint is the hinge-like complex joint that is located just in front of your ears. It is subjected to heavy work throughout the day and as a result, bears a lot of stress. Sometime the join is subjected to acute or chronic trauma that leads to various signs and symptoms including:
- Pain while opening or closing the mouth
- Restricted range of movements of the mouth
- Clicking or popping sounds at the temporo-mandibular joint
- Frequent dislocation of joint that is seen as locked jaw
- Pain and fatigue around the face in muscles that move the joint
A careful analysis to locate the underlying cause is made in such patients. It may not be surprising to find a new cap or filling that is not in harmony with the rest of the dentition, often described by the patient as a high filling. Depending on the cause detected, the treatment for TMJ disorders may range from a simple adjustment of a high filling to a full mouth rehabilitation using caps on multiple teeth to correct faulty occlusal forces. Many times, an occlusal splint, a device made of acrylic, is fabricated just for you in order to unload your TMJ. We may also prescribe a night guard, which is basically a soft polyvinyl transparent shell to protect your teeth when you sleep. Occasionally medicines may also be prescribed as an additional part of the therapy.