TMJ Therapy

Lily Morgan, DDS -  - General Dentist

Ellem Dental

Lily Morgan, DDS

General Dentist located in Richardson, TX

When your temporomandibular joint is not functioning correctly, it can cause debilitating pain. Dr. Lily Morgan is highly skilled at diagnosing and treating the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and can help you get to the bottom of your jaw discomfort and regain full use of the joint. Schedule an appointment at Ellem Dental to learn more about TMJ therapy and to explore treatment options. You can contact the Richardson, Texas, office by phone, or use the online scheduling tool to find a convenient appointment time.

TMJ Therapy Q & A

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. Rather than a distinct medical condition, TMJ is actually a collection of disorders that affect the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull.

Your temporomandibular joint works like a sliding hinge that allows you to speak, yawn, and eat. When that joint is impaired, you may have difficulty in all of these actions.

Researchers are not sure of the exact causes of TMJ, but genetics may play a role.

In many cases, issues with TMJ are related to conditions in other areas of your body. Arthritis can lead to problems in your temporomandibular joint, as can an injury or chronic misuse. Nighttime teeth grinding can also cause TMJ.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Symptoms can be varied, which is why TMJ can be difficult to diagnose.

The following are some of the more common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder:

  • Pain near the joint
  • Painful or tender jaw
  • Facial ache or pain
  • Sensation of aching in or near your ear
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  • Persistent headaches with no clear cause

Some people also notice a clicking or popping sound when they open or close their mouth. A grating sensation in the jaw while chewing is also commonly reported.

What are the treatment options for TMJ?

If Dr. Morgan determines that TMJ causes your symptoms, there are numerous treatment options available. You’ll work together to find the treatment best suited for your needs.

Medications can help relieve pain in the joint and surrounding tissues. Some people respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers, while others require a prescription pain relief or anti-inflammatory drug.

Physical therapy can also help with TMJ, including self-care approaches like targeted jaw stretching or mobilization. Heat and ice can also be helpful in reducing swelling and pain.

One of the most effective ways to manage TMJ is with a custom-fitted night guard from Ellem Dental. These devices prevent you from clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth during sleep, which can cause or aggravate TMJ.

If you live with persistent headaches, jaw pain, or other symptoms of TMJ, schedule an appointment for thorough diagnostic and treatment options. Dr. Morgan and the team at Ellem Dental can help restore proper temporomandibular joint function, and help you get back to a pain-free life.