Few dentists and physicians are trained and experienced at diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. Dr. Neeraj Khanna of Khanna Dentistry in Geneva, IL is one of the leading dentists in the country for the treatment of TMJ disorders and the complex dental problems that occur as a result of long term TMJ dysfunction.
Treatment for TMJ disorders largely depends on the specific symptoms and condition of the patient. Dr. Khanna treats TMJ symptoms through a wide range of treatments ranging from splint therapy and night guards to bite correction procedures.
What Is TMJ?
The TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) is located in front of your ear canal, and is responsible for allowing your lower jaw to move during normal function (opening/closing, eating, swallowing, etc.). Unlike other joints in the body, the TMJ has the ability to rotate and translate (move down), thus making it unique.
Why Is TMJ Important?
The health of the TMJ is vital to normal function. A normal healthy joint can move without making any noises or creating pain. Changes to the joint can lead to sounds like “clicking” and/or “popping”, pain, & limited opening. The most common reasons why joints change are related to clenching/bruxing, injury, and restorations that cause your bite to change. In order to find out why, Dr. Khanna will spend time examing your TMJ and find any signs of deterioration.
As part of his armemantarium, Dr. Khanna uses a device called the Doppler Auscultation. This device works very similar to an ultrasound and allows Dr. Khanna to hear different sounds associated with your problematic TMJ.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
There is no “common” cause for TMJ dysfunction. In fact, there may be several contributing factors which may include:
- Head/neck injury or trauma to the face
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Malocclusion (improper alignment of the bite)
- Stress and other environmental factors
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
As with the causes, symptoms of TMJ disorder vary greatly between patients. TMJ symptoms often mask themselves or are similar to those of other medical conditions, making diagnosis extremely difficult. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Headaches, shoulder pain and neck pain
- Clicking or popping of the jaw joints
- Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw
- Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)