Chronic jaw pain is typically a sign of TMJ disorder (also known as TMD). This condition affects your temporomandibular joints, which are small but valuable parts of the body that connect your jaw to your skull for essential actions like chewing and speaking. Although TMJ disorder may be mild in the beginning, many patients begin to experience serious and even debilitating symptoms, making them desperate for relief. Our Ann Arbor dental team can diagnose your condition during a consultation and help you take the first steps towards a successful, long-lasting recovery. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Cocco!
TMJ disorder can occur for different reasons, including the presence of bruxism (teeth grinding), chronic arthritis, or a traumatic injury to the jaw. Common symptoms that patients may experience in their day-to-day life include the following:
If your case of TMJ disorder is relatively mild, the use of muscle relaxants and/or aspirin can often provide the relief a patient needs. On the opposite side, highly severe cases may require jaw surgery to fully correct. Generally, the most common type of treatment recommended for TMJ disorder is a personalized occlusal splint.
An occlusal splint is a type of mouthguard that can be used to treat TMJ disorder. Our team may recommend them to patients to relieve discomfort from grinding or clenching their teeth or to reset the jaw’s natural resting position into its proper place. Our goal is to help the patient, through consistent use, achieve long-lasting improvements in their overall quality of life – in fact, they may reach a point where they no longer need to wear the occlusal splint any longer.