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December 4, 2021

Did You Know Your Dentist Can Help with Chronic Jaw Pain?

woman experiencing jaw pain, teeth clenched, white background

Are you experiencing constant, bothersome jaw pain? Does your jaw click or pop every time you take a bite of food? Do you have a migraine more days that not? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you may have TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly called just “TMJ”). It’s uncomfortable for sure, but the good news is that you can visit your dentist to receive TMJ therapy in Ann Arbor. 

Keep reading to learn more about TMD/TMJ, including how your dentist treats it and why seeking treatment is key for your long term oral and overall health. 

What Is TMD/TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the small joint that connects your lower jaw to the base of your skull. It helps you chew and speak – and when it becomes misaligned either through injury or repeated stress, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) occurs. 

Signs of TMD include:

  • A chronically clicking, popping jaw
  • Jaw pain or soreness
  • Ear/head pain
  • Teeth grinding
  • Worn down teeth

Treatment for TMD/TMJ

As the expert in all things related to your oral health, your dentist is the professional to visit for TMD diagnosis and treatment. Depending on their experience and the complexity of your case, the dentist will either handle your case directly or refer you to a specialist for treatment.

If your TMD is caused by a misalignment of the teeth, you may need to visit an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign. TMD caused by nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching can be treated with a removable appliance worn during sleep. For cases caused by stress, techniques like meditation, exercise, talk therapy, along with relieving measures like hot/cold packs can help to alleviate discomfort. 

Why Treatment Is Key

You should not ignore jaw pain, even if it temporarily subsides. Seeking treatment for TMD can help you prevent a host of more serious issues that can affect your oral and overall health. For instance, teeth may become worn down and eventually require replacement due to TMD related grinding and clenching. Chronic migraines, ear aches, and jaw pain take away from your quality of life. Seeking treatment early can help prevent these issues from becoming larger problems in your life.  

To conclude, you don’t have to live with the discomfort of TMD – your dentist is on hand to provide the relief you need! 

Meet the Dentist

Dr. James Olsen is passionate about helping patients overcome jaw pain caused by TMD/TMJ, and he has the qualifications to back it up. In addition to earning his dental degree at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Dr. Olsen has continued to learn and add to his experience by attending the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He is also a member of the ADA and the Michigan Dental Association. If you are searching for a dentist for TMJ pain in Ann Arbor call Dr. Olsen and his team directly at (734) 526-4762.

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