The trouble with TMJ, A guide to pinpointing and resolving joint, muscle pain and dysfunction

When jaw muscles and joints hurt, it can be a real pain with far-reaching effects on your overall health and quality of life. Fortunately, our office in Boynton Beach, Florida, is led by one of the region’s top authorities in the diagnoses and treatment of TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders): Dr. Jamie J. Alexander at Jamie J. Alexander, D.D.S., PA.

Dr. Alexander is a lifelong learner who has completed advanced postdoctoral studies at the renowned Pankey Institute. His studies explored diagnostics and therapies to resolve pain and other TMJ symptoms at the source.

TMJ troubles

Dr. Alexander appreciates that patients desire more than mere “symptom relief.” They want real, long-term solutions that address the underlying causes of their pain, stiffness, and other functional problems. These problems affect and arise from the joints that are present on either side of your lower jaw. These joints support fluid movements, such as opening and closing your mouth. The muscles connected to and surround the TMJs work to ensure smooth and painless movements when chewing food, speaking, laughing, singing, yawning and otherwise using our mouth. 

TMJD refers to a collection of functional issues that can arise from the TMJs. There are many potential causes; however, they typically occur when the teeth do not come together evenly. Such malocclusion or misalignment can interfere with how the chewing muscles and jaw joints work. 

TMJ disorders or dysfunction frequently manifests as jaw pain or discomfort that can radiate to other parts of the face and body. Dr. Alexander also sees patients who are suffering from a wide array of other potential TMJD signs, including: 

• Difficult jaw movement 

• “Noisy jaw,” such as a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth 

• Frequent headaches and migraines 

• Ear-aches 

• Tinnitus or “ringing in the ears”

A lasting solution is here! 

Some approaches to TMJDs simply ease short-term episodes of pain and inflammation. They do not address the heart of the matter that has led to the dysfunction and symptoms. Dr. Alexander applies his substantive and cutting-edge knowledge of craniofacial pain and TMJ Disorders to each individual’s unique situation and needs. There are myriad therapeutic options, many of which are non-invasive and do not carry with them surgical or anesthesia risks. 

For instance, we may recommend a custom occlusal appliance or oral splint to ease muscle tension. Likewise, occlusal adjustments may be made to the tops of the teeth. This promotes a more balanced bite. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment may be in order. By aligning the teeth and jaws, the pressure placed on the jaw joints and muscles is evenly applied and supports a healthy and comfortable function. We take a multi-disciplinary approach by working with physical therapists and other professionals to strengthen and relax jaw muscles. 

Without treatment, symptoms can become more frequent and severe. Imbalances can also lead to damage to the teeth and other long-term oral health problems. 

So, we encourage you to contact the office of Jamie J. Alexander, D.D.S., PA, sooner than later at (561) 739-4778. Your individualized treatment sequence awaits – a more comfortable, happier, healthier future for “you.”