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TMJ disorder is a blanket term used to describe discomfort or dysfunction in the sophisticate temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw. Common symptoms often include an ache near their temples or just in front of the ears. This is often due to chronic muscle tension resulting from clenching the jaw frequently or grinding your teeth. The discomfort can also be heightened by inflammation in the joints.

In many cases, the early course of treatment advocated by the orthodontic specialists at Daniel Richards, DMD’s Vestavia Hills, Alabama clinic calls for minor, yet consistent changes in daily habits and behaviors.

Your orthodontist might recommend eating softer foods, applying ice packs, and performing some basic jaw stretching exercises. This might also be in conjunction with taking some over the counter anti-inflammatory medications.

If chronic night grinding, from untreated stress, is contributing to your TMJ disorder symptoms, your orthodontist might recommend sleeping with a dental guard in your mouth. This can soften the relationship between both sets of teeth, while also allowing a little slip to reduce tension in the muscles and ligaments.

If you don’t experience significant symptom relief in within a few weeks, we might advocate more advanced treatment strategies. This might involve prescription anti-inflammatory medication or the use of prescription muscle relaxers.

If you still are not experiencing significant symptom relief, your orthodontist might present you with more invasive treatment methods. This could include acupuncture, a stabilization splint, or surgical intervention.

If you live in the Vestavia Hills, Alabama area and you have been experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms, you should call (205) 823-6300 to schedule an appointment at Daniel Richards, DMD’s orthodontic clinic.