TMJ Specialist

TMJ Specialist
TMJ services offered in Shrewsbury, MA

About 12% of Americans have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). If you experience jaw pain, headaches, or difficulty chewing, don’t wait to get professional help. At Lakeside Family Dental, experienced general and family dentist Assia Fain, DMD, PhD, provides complete care for TMJ, including custom oral appliances and Botox®. To make an appointment in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, call the office or book online today.

What is a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder?

Your temporomandibular joints are two hinge-like pieces of tissue that connect your jaw to your skull. They play a vital role in daily activities like biting, chewing, and speaking. 

If one or both of your temporomandibular joints become irritated or inflamed, it can trigger a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, affecting your sleep and quality of life.

What are the symptoms of a TMJ disorder?

Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Aching pain in or around your ear
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Intense facial pain

As the condition worsens, you might also experience clicking or popping sounds when you open your mouth to eat, yawn, or speak.

When should I see a dentist about TMJ?

Make an appointment at Lakeside Family Dental if you experience persistent jaw pain and it prevents you from opening or closing your mouth completely. That’s especially true if your symptoms keep you up at night.

Who is at risk of experiencing TMJ?

TMJ affects people of all ages but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Grinding your teeth
  • A previous jaw injury
  • A connective tissue disease that affects the temporomandibular joints

After an exam and a discussion of your symptoms, Lakeside Family Dental can make recommendations to help you feel better.

How is TMJ diagnosed?

To diagnose TMJ, your Lakeside Family Dental provider examines your jaw. During the exam, they ask you to open and close your mouth, assess your jaw’s range of motion, and press on your jaw to identify areas of swelling or sensitivity. Your provider also orders X-rays to look at the position, shape, and size of your temporomandibular joints.

How is TMJ treated?

Treatment of TMJ depends on several factors, including the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your life. Whenever possible, Lakeside Family Dental recommends conservative treatments, like:

  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Botox
  • Physical therapy
  • An oral splint or a custom mouthguard

If these measures don’t provide lasting relief, your dentist might recommend surgery. 

To receive treatment for TMJ, make an appointment at Lakeside Family Dental by calling the office or booking online today.