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Treatment Options for Jaw Pain and TMJ

Teeth Grinding Acton, MA treating tooth painA common dental ailment we treat in our Acton, MA dentist office is jaw pain. Dr. Ratti Handa is an experienced restorative dentist treating TMJ and a variety of oral health problems with unique, advanced techniques. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about jaw pain and TMJ disorders and how you can find long-term relief.

What Causes Jaw Pain?

The ability to open and close your mouth is a surprisingly delicate and complex system of muscles, tendons, and bone working together. There are many factors that can contribute to jaw pain, but one of the most common causes is a long history of teeth grinding. This can happen both during sleep and during the day, especially in people with a stressful job or lifestyle. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, causes jaw pain because it places pressure on the mouth muscles for a long period of time.

You may also experience jaw pain from an uneven bite, such as an overbite or underbite, or have missing teeth. When teeth are not properly aligned or shift in the mouth, they may become overworked when chewing or speaking. Unevenly worn teeth can also contribute to premature tooth decay.

Do I Have A TMJ Disorder?

Any pain associated with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your jaw is considered a TMJ disorder, or TMD. A TMD has a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tension headaches
  • Popping or clicking when opening or closing your mouth
  • Chronic tooth grinding

TMJ is more difficult to identify and properly treat than many patients realize, but Dr. Handa has advanced training and extensive experience diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. We’ll carefully evaluate your situation to determine the best course of treatment.

How is TMJ Treated?

There is no one “right” way to treat TMJ, and Dr. Handa uses advanced technology to evaluate your jaw and teeth to determine the right treatment. The goal of TMJ disorder treatment is to restore balance and comfort to the bite while resolving symptoms negatively affecting your quality of life.

Dr. Handa is a VIVOS dentist in Acton MA, which uses a unique system of diagnostic resources and oral appliance therapies to address common underlying problems with the bite. While many other forms of TMJ treatment require surgery or invasive procedures, VIVOS is a noninvasive protocol enabling patients to achieve a healthier bite, improved health, and normal airway function. Dr. Handa always meets one-on-one with patients to recommend the best treatment options.

How Do I Stop Jaw Pain?

While you’re waiting for your appointment to treat your jaw pain, there are some at-home remedies you can try. Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that can help, and holding a cold compress to the cheek will help reduce inflammation and swelling around the joint. You may also want to set reminders for yourself to relax, release jaw and neck tension, and gently massage the areas.

Schedule your appointment online or call us at 978.212.3783 today to find out the best treatment for your jaw pain.