You may need the services of a temporomandibular joint or TMJ specialist in New Orleans if you have jaw pain that your medical doctor can’t diagnose. Treatment for TMJ has come a long way, and your New Orleans orthodontic team at Comfort Smiles Dentistry has availed themselves of the latest technologies to help you achieve pain-free, aesthetically pleasing oral health.
If you’re one of the more than 45 million Americans who suffer from chronic recurring headaches, you may be in need of treatment from a TMJ specialist. After seeing a medical doctor, you still might not leave with a definite diagnosis because the exact cause of migraines and other types of headaches, even headaches following a trauma, are still very difficult to figure out.
While medical therapy still relies on pain medications to treat jaw pain and migraines, treatment for TMJ at Comfort Smiles Dentistry often helps without drugs or the accompanying side effects they produce, like an addiction. If you have chronic, recurrent headaches in New Orleans and your medical doctor can’t pinpoint the cause, you may benefit from a functional jaw orthopedics evaluation from a cosmetic dentist.
Show Off Your Smile
When you visit Comfort Smiles, your smile is our top priority. Dr. DuBois and his dental team are dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve. Our dentist provides general, restorative and cosmetic dental services designed to assist each patient in achieving and maintaining long-term dental health and a beautiful smile.
The Skinny Behind TMJ Pain
The temporomandibular joint, more commonly referred to as TMJ, is the joint that connects your lower jaw, or mandible, to the temporal bone in your head. Place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth. You should be able to feel the joints on each side move. Because these joints are flexible, your jaw can move smoothly up and down and from side to side, allowing you to talk, chew and yawn.
A soft disc between the rounded ends of your lower jaw and the temporal bone acts as a shock absorber for your TMJ when you chew, talk and clench your teeth. Pain in your jaw can stem from one of three sources:
- Myofascial pain, which is pain or discomfort in the muscles that control jaw function; pain emanates from your neck or shoulder muscles
- Internal derangement of the joint, which indicates a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, usually from a traumatic injury
- Degenerative joint disease, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
Jaw joint problems, clinically referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD, are usually just called TMJ for simplicity. It doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you clearly describe your symptoms to your doctor, and eventually your New Orleans dental specialist. The most common sign your TMJ specialist hears about is pain while chewing. Occasional discomfort while chewing, however, is common and not always a sign of TMJ problems.
Other symptoms include:
- Limited movement or locking of your jaw
- Radiating pain in your face, neck or shoulders
- Painful clicking, popping or grating sounds in your jaw joint when opening or closing your mouth
- A sudden, major change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
- Headaches, earaches, dizziness and hearing problems that don’t respond to other treatments
When You Need a TMJ Specialist
Functional jaw orthopedics is a relatively new science. The TMJ treatment often is based on the findings of the latest orthodontic investigative techniques. At Comfort Smiles Dentistry in New Orleans, your cosmetic dentist team offers this cutting-edge option that involves changing the relationships of your teeth, bone, muscles and tissues of the upper and lower jaws, jaw joints and skull.
Your New Orleans dental team looks for simple tooth imbalances that force your lower jaw to shift, leading to your jaw pain and headaches. If your jaw shifts too much toward one or both TM joints, the forces used for chewing and biting eventually cause the degeneration that’s the source of your discomfort. Your dentist often catches this on X-rays.
What to Expect from Your New Orleans TMJ Specialist
Treatments for TMJ can take many forms. It’s an individualized process that guides your orthodontist and cosmetic dentist. Relying on a broad range of techniques and appliances, your dentist picks the best-suited treatment for your particular needs.
At Comfort Smiles Dentistry in New Orleans, you won’t be shoved into a general treatment method or timeline. Instead, you’re encouraged to try a few different removable appliances that place forces on your teeth and jaws — the same appliances used for straightening teeth. Removable and fixed braces can be made of metal, plastic or both.
Who Benefits from Treatment for TMJ
Adults and kids of all ages can always benefit from the improved self-esteem that comes with being pain-free. With treatment for TMJ, your jawbone is set right and corrected, and you have better oral functioning — and that ends up meaning better overall health. When applied at an early age, treatment for TMJ can help your kids avoid extensive future dental problems and cognitive issues sometimes associated with headaches.
TMJ is a disruptive condition. Your New Orleans dental spa is the perfect place to get your treatment for TMJ. In addition to the top-rated dental team, you’ll also have access to day-spa-like amenities that range from aromatherapy to neck pillows while undergoing treatment.
Do you have any questions about TMJ Treatment in New Orleans? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the TMJ specialist in New Orleans? Please contact our office.