Orthodontist located in Montgomery, IL & Sandwich, IL
If you tend to clench your teeth or develop arthritis in your jaw, your risk for TMJ pain increases. At Kay Orthodontics, C. Neil Kay, BDS, MS, specialize in treating TMJ disorders using nonsurgical therapies at the offices in Montgomery and Sandwich, Illinois, and serving the nearby areas of Aurora, Oswego, and Yorkville. Dr. Kay customizes a treatment plan using splint therapy to correct jaw misalignments and help you find long-term relief of TMJ pain. Call the office of Kay Orthodontics nearest you or request an appointment online today to learn more about TMJ therapies.
What are TMJ disorders?
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the sliding hinge in your jaw that connects your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on either side of your jaw that helps you move your jaw back and forth and side to side.
When you have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), it means the joints or the muscles that control your jaw movements aren’t working properly. This can lead to persistent pain and difficulty speaking and chewing.
What causes TMJ disorders?
The underlying cause of TMJ disorders can be difficult to identify. You might develop jaw dysfunction and pain gradually over time due to:
- Jaw injury
- Birth defects
Bruxism (teeth grinding) and clenching your teeth can also increase your risk for TMJ disorders.
When should I seek treatment for a TMJ disorder?
Often, the symptoms of TMJ are temporary and you can manage them on your own with rest, avoiding chewy or hard foods, and the use of over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.
However, if you have chronic pain and tenderness in your jaw or persistent clicking in your jaw with movements, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Kay Orthodontics. You should also request an appointment if you’re not able to open and close your mouth fully or without pain.
Dr. Kay offers comprehensive evaluations of your oral health and can assess the range of motion you have in your jaw. He might request dental X-rays to better evaluate the health of your jaw joints.
How are TMJ disorders treated?
To ease TMD pain and prevent additional complications, Dr. Kay offers nonsurgical splint therapy.
Splint therapy involves wearing a mouthguard or other oral appliance that covers part or all of your teeth. Wearing the appliance helps relax your jaw muscles and ligaments, which prevents you from grinding and clenching your teeth.
The splints can be made of either soft or hard materials. Depending on your needs, you might need a stabilization splint or a repositioning splint.
Stabilization splints cover all of your teeth. You wear them at night to stop you from grinding and clenching your teeth.
Repositioning splits correct overbites and underbites that can cause tension in your jaw muscles and joints. Typically, you wear this type of splint all day, every day to keep your teeth in the proper position.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation of persistent TMJ pain, call the office of Kay Orthodontics or request an appointment online today.