258 Pearl Street, Burlington, VT

TMJ Disorders and Pain Management

Do you have chronic pain in your jaw? Is it uncomfortable to chew or talk? Jaw pain usually starts in the temporomandibular joints located below each ear.

Dr. Mike Morris doesn’t just treat teeth and gum issues. Our team sees your teeth and mouth as part of a larger system that includes your jaw and your joints. We can help diagnose and treat TMJ disorders.

What Are TMJ Disorders?

You have two temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These are the joints that connect your skull and your jaw. These joints move whenever you open your mouth, close your mouth, chew, or talk. Any problems you may have with these joints are called TMJ disorders.


Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

If you have pain and discomfort when you’re chewing or talking, you might have a TMJ disorder. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Clicking or popping sound in your jaw when you chew or talk
  • Locking jaw
  • Pain when you open your mouth all the way
  • Sore jaw and neck muscles
  • Earaches or headaches

You might have one or all these symptoms of a TMJ disorder. When you visit Chittenden Dental for a checkup, we will also take a moment to check your jaw. If you have sore muscles, or notice any of these other symptoms, let us know!


What Causes TMJ Disorders?

TMJ disorders can have a number of causes. Sometimes TMJ pain starts after an injury. Poor jaw or tooth alignment can also lead to TMJ pain or cause a TMJ disorder.

Teeth clenching and grinding can also cause jaw pain. Clenching and grinding often gets worse when you’re stressed. Many people clench or grind their teeth in the night and don’t even realize they’re doing it.


Diagnosing TMJ Disorders

Dr. Mike Morris isn’t just a tooth doctor. Our team treats your teeth as one part of a bigger system. We look for any issues or imbalances in your chewing system, including your teeth, mouth, and temporomandibular joints. We look for any symptoms of TMJ disorders like cracked or worn teeth. During routine checkups, we’ll also look for signs of grinding or clenching teeth. We can find the potential cause of your TMJ disorder and develop a treatment plan to relieve pain and prevent further damage.


Treating TMJ Disorders and Pain Management

Fortunately, there are ways to treat TMJ disorders and get pain relief. Sometimes a simple fix like wearing a splint or bite guard at night can prevent TMJ pain.

When TMJ disorders are caused by poor tooth or jaw alignment, dental treatment options are the best way to treat the disorder and reduce pain. For example, braces or an orthodontic solution to realign teeth can relieve TMJ pain.

If your TMJ disorder is caused by clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, treatment can include wearing a custom dental appliance. A bite guard or bite plate can prevent grinding and stop pain.

Dr. Mike Morris and the team at Chittenden Dental are committed to helping you find pain management strategies that work. Our goal is to reduce pain now, and prevent pain in the future.

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