TMJ

TMJ & TMD Treatment in Akron, OH

You deserve a smile you're proud of, and at the orthodontic office of Drs. Najem & Lehky, our mission is to help you achieve it. As a leading orthodontist serving Fairlawn, Akron, Warren, and the surrounding areas, we're proud to offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments ranging from braces to Invisalign. But sometimes, the goal of orthodontics isn't to improve the alignment of teeth or the appearance of the smile. In some cases, we use orthodontic treatment to improve jaw health and combat a condition called TMD.

What Is TMJ?

The acronym TMJ technically stands for "temporomandibular joint," which is the medical term for the jaw joint. However, TMJ is often used interchangeably with TMD, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD is a condition where the jaw joint functions improperly, often leading to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Recurring headaches
  • Tightness or pain on the sides of the face
  • A crunching or popping noise when opening or closing the mouth
  • Recurring incidents where the jaw locks up
  • Pain around the front of the ear

In more severe cases, TMJ problems may progress to cause the following problems:

  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Deterioration of joint tissue
  • Damage to the joint tissue

How Is TMJ Treated?

TMJ has a number of potential causes, many of them related. Normally, the root cause of TMJ is some kind of orthodontic problem. A mismatch between the teeth or jaws can cause pain, and it also may cause a patient to use more force in closing the mouth or holding it closed. Commonly, TMJ pain is accompanied by a condition called bruxism, which refers to the nightly grinding of the teeth during sleep. Bruxism is both caused by TMJ and can make TMJ worse. Depending on the specific causes of TMJ in a particular case, there are a number of remedies we may use to treat it including:

  • Night Guard: A protective night guard can relieve tension and pain caused by nighttime grinding, helping to alleviate TMJ symptoms.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Using orthodontic appliances can reposition the teeth and jaws, correcting the misalignment that caused the TMJ.
  • Surgery: In the most severe cases, jaw surgery may be necessary to treat the condition.

Contact Your Akron & Warren, OH Orthodontists

TMJ and TMD common conditions among adults. If you suspect that you may have TMJ or TMD, Drs. Najem & Lehky may be able to help! Contact us today to learn more about TMJ/TMD, answer any questions you may have, and schedule a consultation for treatment. Working together, we'll create a treatment plan that will help you reclaim jaw health and eliminate jaw pain. We can't wait to hear from you!