February 14, 2016
Noisy, sore jaw joints, associated headaches and other symptoms require TMJ therapy from Naples dentist, Mark M. Makram. Learn how you can find relief.
What is TMJ?
Characterized by jaw joint stiffness, clicking or popping noises when opening and closing the mouth and even inability to bring top and bottom jaws together, TMJ is, at best, bothersome, and at its worse, debilitating. TMJ therapy from Naples general dentist, Dr. Mark Makram, alleviates pain and restores function.
TMJ dysfunction starts in the disc-like cartilage of the hinged jaw joints at opposite sides of the face. People seeing Dr. Makram frequently present with:
- facial soreness
- shoulder and neck pain
- noise when opening and closing their mouths
- painful and difficult chewing
- swelling of the jaw
- jaws that are misaligned
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- problems with tooth alignment, clenching and grinding
- painful yawning
While TMJ remains something of a mystery, arthritis of the jaw joints and stress appear to contribute to this condition. Mobility of the cartilage in the joint can cause pain as can repeated teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism). Additionally, a blow to the face from playing sports or received during an auto accident often precipitates symptoms.
Diagnosis and treatment of TMJ
Dr. Makram diagnoses temporomandibular joint dysfunction based on the patient’s symptoms, oral exam, manual palpation of the jaw and face and use of digital x-rays and CBCT. CBCT is Cone-beam Computerized Tomography, or low radiation, 3D imaging which give the doctor precise views of the joints, roots and bone structure.
Based on his findings, Dr. Makram may recommend:
- relaxation exercises
- physical therapy and/or massage
- over-the-counter ibuprofen to reduce swelling
- prescription muscle relaxants
- orthodontics to correct jaw and tooth alignment
- restorations such as crowns to even out the bite
- a custom-made oral splint, or nightguard
- cold packs or moist heat applied to the affected areas
- avoiding resting your chin on your hand or holding a telephone between your ear and shoulder
- eating a soft diet during flare-ups (eggs, rice, soups, stews)
A nightguard repositions the jaw into a more favorable position, relaxing muscles and calming associated nerves. With very advanced TMJ, Dr. Makram may team with the patient’s primary care physician to arrive at the best Naples TMJ therapy possible.
Count on Dr. Makram
Dr. Makram and his experienced, friendly team strive to give patients the best in restorative, preventive and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Makram values continuing education and is a graduate of the prestigious Misch International Implant Institute. He also is a member of several professional associations, including the American Dental Association.
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