If it is difficult or painful to open your mouth, your jaw occasionally locks, getting stuck open or closed, or you notice clicking or popping when you open your mouth, you may have a TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for tempormandibular joint which is a condition that affects the head and neck. This is a prevalent dysfunction because of the daily stresses in today’s hectic society. These tiny joints of the jaw take on pressure and can cause facial muscles to strain in order to hold the jaw in place. This can cause teeth to move out of alignment. Clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep is also a symptom of TMJ. Migraine headaches are a common symptom. A dentist can help determine if a link exists between your jaw pain and migraines and your teeth alignment.
Early diagnosis and treatment of TMJ is key for better success. There are many ways a dentist can help with TMJ including bruxism treatment, bite plates, mouth guards and capping teeth, as well as dental sleep medicines.
OROFACIAL PAIN SPECIALIST
The field of Orofacial Pain is concerned with the prevention, assessment, identification, management, and correction of orofacial pain disorders. If you experience pain such as TMJ disorder bruxism or headaches, an orofacial pain specialist can help you. The orofacial pain provider will serve as a consultant to the dentists and can provide direct treatment, prescribe medication, rehabilitative services, perform pain relieving procedures, and provide direction to the patient suffering from a painful disorder.
OROFACIAL PAIN THERAPY DENTIST
Dentists who have focused their careers on Orofacial Pain for 5 years and who have 400 hours of continuing education in orofacial pain are eligible for the American Board of Orofacial Pain. As with other specialties in dentistry, the Orofacial Pain dentist is available to treat the more complex issues in patients, and more general orofacial needs can be met by general dentists with an interest in this area.