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TMD Dentist in Littleton, CO

TMD—or if you want the long version, temporomandibular joint disorder—can put a real damper on your life. If you’re experiencing issues with your TMJ, the mild-to-severe discomfort and other vexing symptoms have most likely led you to wonder, “How can I get a handle on this?” At Summit Family Dentistry, we have a solution for you.

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TMJ 101

For those who are asking, “temporomandi-what?!” don’t worry; you’re not alone. The TMJ is the joint upon which your jaw hinges. It allows us to do simple tasks such as chew and speak. It’s those very actions that we often take for granted until it’s too late. TMD can take the joy out of those once-easy tasks.

TMD can rear its head for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons is when the shock-absorbing disk that keeps the joints in your jaw opening and closing smoothly either pops out of place or erodes. This can be caused by things like physical trauma (such as sustaining an injury to the face), bruxism, and even arthritis. Oftentimes, the cause isn’t quite as clear as the symptoms. Living with TMD can be quite tedious, but there are treatments that can help. If you’re tired of drifting through life in pain from TMD, Summit Family Dentistry can help.

Symptoms of TMD

Do you think you might be experiencing issues with TMD? See if the following list of symptoms sounds familiar:

  • Does your jaw pop or click?
  • Does your jaw ever lock?
  • Are the sides of your face often swollen?
  • Do you get earaches?
  • Do you hear pops or clicks in your ear?
  • Are you feeling discomfort or pain in your jaw?

If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, it might be time to schedule a consultation. Don’t wait until the pain is too great.

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Older man in blue shirt wincing and touching cheek because of jaw pain.

TMJ/TMD FAQs

How is TMJ diagnosed?

There is no standard way to diagnose TMJ; every practice has its own methods and procedures. Typically, patients will describe their symptoms to their dentist, who will then examine the patient’s face and jaw. Your dentist may want to take some X-rays to rule out any other possible causes of your symptoms and to get a better look at your teeth and jaw. TMJ is one of the easier conditions to diagnose, especially if you already know that you clench and grind your teeth at night.

Can TMJ go away on its own?

TMJ can sometimes go away on its own, and for some patients, it is only triggered during times of stress and anxiety. However, if you find that you frequently suffer from pain, insomnia, headaches, or other TMJ symptoms, we recommend scheduling a visit with our team for treatment. Aside from symptoms that affect your daily life, regular teeth clenching and grinding can damage the teeth and cause irreversible damage to your smile. TMJ that is caused by arthritis or injury may not go away on its own as easily, so we recommend speaking with our team about your treatment options.

How is TMJ treated?

Fortunately, there are many non-invasive treatment options for TMJ. Physical therapy exercises are an easy way to relax your jaw muscles and they only take a few minutes to do. Wearing a custom mouthguard every night can also prevent your teeth from clenching together, which protects your smile and keeps your temporomandibular joint from being overworked. In more severe cases, muscle relaxants, Botox, or surgeries can be used to treat TMJ. Our team would be happy to work with you to determine the best treatment option for your specific needs.



Summit Family Dentistry

Summit Family Dentistry