Treatment options for Kirkland, WA area patients with TMJ disorders
Dr. Ann Kelley of Kirkland, WA is a dentist who offers a wide range of treatment options for patients. Many patients who struggle with conditions such as TMJ disorder may be struggling with a malfunction of the joint that hinges the upper and lower jawbones. If this malfunction occurs, patients may experience clicking, popping, and locking of the jaw joint that can become extremely uncomfortable.
What causes TMJ?
The cause of TMJ disorders, or TMD, is relatively unknown, except for a malfunction of the jaw joint. Why this occurs, or if it is hereditary, has not been determined as yet. While the condition cannot be cured, it can be treated and managed to ensure patient comfort and oral health.
- Lifestyle changes – for patients who have temporary problems with their TMJ, a simple change in their lifestyle can ease discomfort and eliminate pain. This may include avoiding chewing gum, eating softer foods, and massaging the muscles around the joint area to address tightness and mild discomfort.
- Oral appliance therapy – many of our patients find that oral appliance therapy is best for those who suffer from chronic pain and discomfort due to TMJ. An oral appliance is a nightguard that is worn at night to reduce tension and force. It can also protect the natural teeth and dental restorations from damage that may occur with cohabiting conditions such as bruxism (clenching and grinding of the teeth).
- Surgery – in severe cases of TMJ, patients may be referred to an oral surgeon to have a surgical procedure performed on the joint and surrounding muscles. Most patients, however, can avoid surgery with lifestyle changes and oral appliance therapy.
Do you believe you are dealing with a TMJ disorder?
If you have the signs and symptoms of a TMJ disorder or malfunction and want to speak to a professional, contact Dr. Ann Kelley and her team in Kirkland, WA at (425) 385-0080. With the help of our team, we can provide a proper diagnosis and discuss with patients the way to treat their condition effectively with a dental provider. Dr. Ann Kelley accepts new patients and encourages individuals to visit at 12308 NE 144th Street.