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Posted on 12/20/2018 by Dr. Michael Allard
|Your temporomandibular joint, TMJ, or jaw joint is the joint found on either side of your face that is responsible for allowing your mouth to open and close. When you have a TMJ disorder, you may hear odd popping or clicking sounds when you move your jaw.
You may also feel pain or even have some difficulty opening and closing your mouth. The TMJ is a very complex joint, so it's actually not uncommon for people to have issues with it.
Diagnosing TMJ Disorders
In order to diagnose a TMJ disorder, we may need to take some X-rays or other scans of your mouth. The main thing we're looking for is a misalignment between your teeth. If your teeth aren't fitting together properly, it means your jaw will actually try to shift itself in order to compensate. That often results in TMJ issues and causes the pain or discomfort you feel.
Using a Splint
Once we've determined that your teeth aren't fitting together as they should, we will give you a jaw split. This device needs to be worn for a certain amount of time in order to bring your jaw into alignment. You may need to come see us several times over the course of a few weeks so we can carefully adjust the splint until your bite is back to normal and you don't feel any pain in your TMJ.
The splint will at first be used as a diagnostic tool, allowing us to determine exactly what the overall problem with your TMJ is. Once we know that, we may continue having you use the split as a method of treatment. It will help the jaw return to its proper position while also eliminating the pain you feel. In some cases, we may recommend a different type of treatment or use the splint in conjunction with other treatments.
If you have pain in your TMJ or don't think your bite is aligned correct, give us a call. We will determine if there's a problem and create a course of treatment.