Sunday, August 20, 2017
TMJ in Middletown and Newport, RI

TMJ in Middletown and Newport, RITemporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) occurs as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control movement of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the bone of the skull. This joint is located immediately in front of the ear on each side of the head. The muscles attached to the jaw allow the jaw an incredible amount of movement: side-to-side and up and down. This flexibility allows us to chew, talk, and yawn.  

What is TMJ?

Those who suffer form TMJ experience severe pain and discomfort.  This pain can last for as many as several years or a few months.  More women experience TMJ pain than men and the disorder is seen in people between 20-40 years of age.

Some symptoms include:

• Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or yawn

• Limited ability to open the mouth wide

• Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open-or closed-mouth position

• Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the joint when the mouth is opened or closed

• Tired feeling in the face or neck

• Difficulty chewing

• Sudden uncomfortable feeling when biting

• Swelling on the side of the face

• Toothaches

• Headaches or neck aches

• Dizziness

• Earaches

• Hearing problems

• Upper shoulder pain

• Ringing in the ears


What Causes TMJ?

The main cause of TMJ is still unknown but scientists believe the symptoms are a result of problems in the muscles of the jaw or with parts of the joint.  

Known factors that contribute to TMJ include:

• Trauma

• Bruxism – Grinding of the teeth

• Clenching

• Osteoarthritis

• Rheumatoid Arthritis


Treatment Options for TMJ

Most often, TMJ symptoms will go away on their own because your jaw joint will rest and recover while you are unable to chew.  At home treatments for TMJ include taking an anti-inflammatory pain medication (such as aspirin or Tylenol), eating soft foods, and applying warm compresses to the area of pain.  

If, however, the symptoms of TMJ do not go away on their own medical treatment may be required.  Your doctor may show you some muscle stretching and relaxation exercises to perform at home that may help relax the jaw. You may be fitted with a splint, or bite plate, that fits over your upper and lower teeth like a mouth sports guard. The splint is designed to reduce clenching or grinding at night, thus easing muscle tension.  

If the non-invasive treatment options do not reduce your pain or tenderness more invasive procedures can be tried at your doctor’s office.  Options such as cortisone shots can help relieve inflammation and pain.  A small percentage of patients require jaw joint replacement surgery to replace the jaw joint with an artificial implant.  

Schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss your TMJ treatment options!

Dr. Jones, located in Middletown and Newport, RI, is a Dentist who services patients from Newport, RI, Portsmouth, RI, and Jamestown, RI. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our office and encourage you to schedule your appointment today!


   


  • I have been coming to Dr. Jones’ office since 1980 and will, hopefully, continue until he retires.Steve Smith

  • I’m also impressed with the urgent care I received on two occasions. Dr. Jones opened his office just for me!Ruth McIntosh

  • He provides hands on caring and is always available to take the time (even during his personal life) to help out. We have established a great rapport and it will continue for years to come.Richard King

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  • Applying some of the most sophisticated equipment I've ever seen in a dentist's office, Dr. Jones has achieved some magical results. He is both a brilliant scientist and talented artist. I shall always be eager to recommend Dr. Geoffrey Jones.Richard Jewett

  • I had my best ever check up last month. It's a pleasure making an appointment now for a cleaning. Vickie Partridge

Our Motto

"Our aim must be not merely the meticulous restoration of that which is missing, but also the perpetual preservation of that which remains." 

-M.M. DeVan, Dentist


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