7th May 2021

How We Treat Temporomandibular Joint Issues

Did you know that treatments from your dentist can go far beyond just your teeth? Here at Dental Solutions, we’re experienced in treating other issues such as temporomandibular joint problems.

The temporomandibular joint is located at the front of the ear where the Skull showing jaw problemsskull and the lower jaw meet. This joint allows the lower jaw to function properly and it’s made up of two bones that are separated by cartilage. Sometimes, issues can occur which causes the joint to become painful. This can mean that it clicks, clenches and pops, becoming extremely uncomfortable for the patient in their everyday life.

Other symptoms include the jaw grating and cracking, a dull ache in and around the ear, headaches and limited mouth opening.

What Can Cause Joint Problems?

The most common cause of temporomandibular joint issues is the jaw joint slipping forwards because of the overuse of muscles surrounding it. Chewing habits, grinding and clenching the teeth from stress can cause the muscles to tighten. Moreover, other habits such as nail biting, clenching, grinding or holding things between the teeth can also lead to temporomandibular joint issues. Lastly, less commonly, missing back teeth or an uneven overbite can also influence the position of the jaw.

Injury from sports may also move the jaw which can end up resulting in temporomandibular joint issues. Though there are many causes for the problem, often no obvious cause is found (aside from injury), as sometimes it’s a combination of different factors.

What Treatment is Available?

There are a variety of treatments to help soothe the symptoms of temporomandibular joint issues. On the whole, treatment is aimed at reducing the severity of the problem. Trying to encourage the cartilage to return to a normal position in the joint.

Treatment options include:

Painkillers – Anti-inflammatory medication can help to reduce pain in the joint, and can be taken in tablet form or applied as a gel.

Joint exercises – A warm towel should be applied to the area before beginning any exercises. The muscles are then gently massaged according to a programme agreed by you and your dentist.

Heat – Applying heat to the area can help with pain and swelling. Warm water in a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel can be held on the side of the face.

Relaxation techniques – Learning relaxation techniques can help you to control tension and stress in the area.

Replacing missing teeth with implants – This may be necessary in order to balance the bite.

Nightguards or ‘bite raising appliances’ like the Sci Splint

Advantages of the Sci (Sleep Clench Inhibitor)

If the problem is severe, then it may be best to visit your dentist to see how they can help. At Dental Solutions, we offer nightguards, or an SCi splint as an effective form of treatment. The SCi is a British Dental Association approved treatment for temporomandibular joint issues and bruxism. It can help those who clench their teeth and tighten their muscles.

The SCi can reduce the parafunctional intensity of the temporalis, masseters and the lateral pterygoids (the small muscles in your jaw joints that open your jaw). Stopping back teeth and canine contact, which therefore helps in reducing temporalis clenching. This is a problem that affects over 80 of the population in the UK at some stage in their life, so it’s vital that patients who experience symptoms seek medical advice.

One of the biggest advantages of the SCi treatment is that it’s tailored to you, comfortable to wear at night, and the mouth guard is bespoke-made to your teeth. It can prevent the symptoms associated with bruxism and treat the issue to produce excellent clinical results.

Temporomandibular Joint Issues Treated at Dental Solutions

Dental Solutions use proven methods to treat temporomandibular joint issues. The SCi treatment is quick and easy and is usually fitted in just 10-15 minutes. For more information, book your consultation on 01925 756565 or book online through this link: https://gavinismydentist.com/booking.

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