Greenwood Smile Dental
Hailun Wu, DMD
Dentist located in Seattle, WA
Jaw pain, facial pain, and headaches are all signs of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. Hailun Wu, DMD, of Greenwood Smile Dental in Seattle is an experienced dentist who specializes in effective TMJ treatments to relieve pain and discomfort. If you wake up with a headache several days a week, it could be the result of clenching your jaw at night. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book online to get help for TMJ pain.
TMJ Treatment Q & A
What are TMJ disorders?
The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) in your jaw are among the most sophisticated joints in your body. They allow you to chew, yawn, and slide your jaw forward and back, or side to side. The TMJ joints connect your jaw to your skull, just in front of your ears.
If you have a TMJ disorder, it typically consists of a problem within the joints themselves, or the muscles around them. You can also have problems with the joints and the muscles at the same time as a result of arthritis, injury, or heredity. Most of the time, pain and discomfort are temporary, but in other cases, it becomes chronic and the symptoms interfere with your well-being.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?
Typically, if you clench your teeth while you sleep or when you’re feeling stressed, you can experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain and difficulty when you chew
- Facial pain and aches
- Pain and tenderness in your jaw
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Occasional locking of your TMJs that make it hard to open your mouth
- Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when you chew
If you’ve tried to avoid hard foods, chewing gum, and opening your mouth too wide, but you still experience jaw or facial pain, Dr. Wu can evaluate your condition and prescribe effective treatments.
How does a dentist treat TMJ disorders?
After careful evaluation of your symptoms and the alignment of your jaw, Dr. Wu could recommend any of the following TMJ treatments:
- Applying moist heat or ice to your jaw several times a day
- Jaw exercises to relieve tension
- Anti-inflammatory pain medications
- Custom-fitted bite splints while you sleep
Bite splints fit over your teeth and are usually made out of hard plastic. They can help decrease the effects of clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep. Bite splints also keep your jaw in its correct position. In more severe TMJ cases, you could benefit from wearing a bite splint during the day, as well.
If you experience headaches, jaw tenderness, or other symptoms of TMJ disorders on a regular basis, Dr. Wu can help you get relief. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the convenient online booking tool.