TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.
No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Weierbach can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.
Trouble With Your Jaw?
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the cushion of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.
Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?
- Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
- Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
- Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
- Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
- Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
- Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
- Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
- Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
- Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
- Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
- Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
- Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
- Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?
The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.
There are various treatment options that Dr. Weierbach can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Weierbach will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care joined with professional care.
The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:
- Resting your jaw
- Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
- Eating soft foods
- Applying ice and heat
- Exercising your jaw
- Practicing good posture
Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw and aids in disk repositioning. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 8-10 hours/day or just at night to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help to protect from tooth wear.
What About Bite Correction or Surgery?
If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring are sometimes needed, but are reserved for severe cases. Dr. Weierbach does not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.
JOHN A. WEIERBACH II, D.M.D.
I CANNOT be ANY more pleased with my new smile. Dr. Weiwenach has helped me be the best version of myself. The caring staff only added to the ease of “going to the dentist”. I will be able to smile the biggest brightest smile at my daughter’s wedding!
- Lisa K
I am a 3rd year dental student and my experience with Dr. Weierbach was exceptional. I was very selective when choosing a prosthodontist to redo my upper two front teeth. From the minute I walked in his practice, to the day I left with my new highly esthetic and natural looking crowns, I was impressed with Dr. Weierbach and his staff. Dr. Weierbach took the time sit down and to answer any and all questions I had. It was evident that Dr. Weierbach keeps up to date on the most relevant and current research. As a future dentist I would highly recommend Dr. Weierbach.
- Christopher F
Not to say everyone will receive dentures for free.But I want to express my heart felt thank you to the Dr and everyone in his office for making me feel so welcome each time I came. I could not eat good food for two years because I did not have dentures but thanks for giving me my smile back.God bless you all.
- Robert M
I had dental implants placed approximately 25 years ago with dental crowns done around the same time. As the years progressed, I was never truly happy with my cosmetic result. I was always aware of my crown imperfections. I guess they were okay at the time but I new they could look better. After months of research on finding a restorative dentist that specialized in dental implant crowns, I made an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Weierbach. Dr. Weierbach and his staff were absolutely awesome. They completely made me feel at ease and explained every step of the process. Months later with numerous visits to his office, I finally got the smile that I set out for. It truly is a game changer and has made me proud to smile again. Thank you for your commitment to excellent customer service and the highest quality of dental implant crowns.
- Brandy B
In the beginning I used my dentist of 15 years for my teeth extractions. His services turned out bad. He then recommended me to John A. Weierbach II, DMD (PROSTHODONTIST) and Conestoga Oral Surgery. Dr. Weierbach performed the finishing up of my total restoration. The outcome was great. I fully recommend their services.
- Robert A
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Dr Weierbach and his staff are exceptional people. They are not only experts in their field but are also warm and caring in all they do. The thought of getting needed implants, a bridge, and crowns to fix my upper failing bridge was daunting and unsettling to me. Dr. Weierbach and his staff were patient and so reassuring during the the entire process. I am completely satisfied and happy with my new teeth. The end result - beautiful !
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I have been grinding my teeth my whole life! Even with faithfully wearing a night guard I did extensive damage to my teeth. Apparently, I am an unconscious daily tooth grinder. This left me with few options for repairing my teeth. I was recommended to Dr. Weierbach who developed an comprehensive plan to restore my smile. Not only did Dr. Weierbach create a new smile but he transformed my smile into a more youthful one! No he's not a magician, just a very research-based talented dentist. I trusted his judgment and recommendations every step of the year long process. The best compliments still come from my hustband of almost 40 years who cherishes my new smile! The care I received from the office staff over the year was outstanding. If you have any dental issues that require expert advise , I highly recommend you contact Dr. Weierbach and his office staff. You will be on your way to a more confident, functional smile!
- Karen T
I was missing both of my lateral incisor teeth, and I had surgery done for dental implants. When it came time to start the treatment, I had a consultant with Dr. Weierbach and his team. He assured me that I was in good hands-- he was right! Besides getting the crowns, I also had ZOOM whitening done, which I would highly recommend for a quick and reliable way to whiten your teeth. During my treatment, the appliance that held my temporary teeth broke. He and his staff went the extra mile and took time out of their busy day to fix it; they reassured me that if anything like that were to happen, they should be the first ones we call. Throughout my many appointments, the staff always made sure I was comfortable and besides that, they were incredibly personable! Dr. Weierbach and his team of amazing assistants worked incredibly hard to make sure my smile was perfect while making it as painless as possible. The shade of my crowns, the shape, and the length all combine to make a very natural looking smile. I could not think of another person I would want to do my treatment with. If you or anyone you know are looking to get dental work done, Dr. Weierbach is the man to do it! He will go out of his way to make sure every detail is impeccable. Thank you guys!
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