Return Balance to Your Bite with TMJ Treatment
Dr. Chad LaCour offers advanced methods of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment at his Baton Rouge, LA, practice to minimize the frustrating, often painful, symptoms of the disorder. Often, this consists of realigning the jaw with a simple occlusal splint. TMJ disorder treatment is more effective today than ever before due to recent medical advances. At our practice, we take pride in staying up to date with innovative technology so we can provide comprehensive dental care with predictable, lasting outcomes.
The jaw joints help us perform vital functions, like chewing.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
The most common factor in TMJ disorder is a misaligned disc. Designed to allow space for movement and reduce friction, this structure is comprised of a mixture of fibrous tissue and cartilage. Articular discs are present in several joints of the body. In the TMJ, however, the disc encourages even force distribution and aids in efficient movement. When it becomes worn down or misaligned, it can move from its proper position, resulting in clicking or popping of the jaw.
The only way to know for sure if you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder is to visit a dentist experienced in its diagnosis.
In other instances, TMJ disorder can be the result of dental misalignment or bite problems. When your bite does not fit together properly, it can cause an imbalance of oral and maxillofacial structures. Over time, the strain can result in overexertion of the jaw muscles.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder can lead to a multitude of issues. When symptoms persist for prolonged periods of time, the result can be severely painful. Patients who suffer from TMJ disorder may notice:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Jaw and facial pain
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw clenching)
The only way to know for sure if you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder is to receive a proper diagnosis. Dr. LaCour can see you for a consultation in his office to discuss your symptoms. When necessary, modern diagnostic tools can be utilized to ascertain the source of your discomfort and offer a more comprehensive diagnosis, resulting in less invasive treatment options.
Types of Treatment
The type of treatment recommended will depend on the severity of your condition. Each patient has unique needs and will need specific treatment to achieve their goals. Dr. LaCour typically relies on two options:
If your bite does not fit together properly, it can have a significant negative impact on your TMJ. Adjusting the way your teeth fit together can restore balance to your bite and reduce discomfort. In many cases, patients' bites can be adjusted with oral appliance therapy.
Similar to occlusal splints, orthodontics may be recommended to realign a patient's bite and relieve stress on the TMJs. Dr. LaCour offers traditional braces, Six Month Smiles®, and ClearCorrect to gently straighten crooked or otherwise misaligned teeth.
BOTOX® Cosmetic Injections
Using the same solution that softens frown lines and crow's feet, Dr. LaCour can administer injections to ease TMJ disorder symptoms. BOTOX therapy helps overactive jaw muscles relax, reducing clenching and grinding associated with the condition.
In cases where conservative treatment has not been successful, oral and maxillofacial surgery may be recommended.
Find Relief From Your Condition
If you are experiencing severe muscle or joint pain associated with your TMJ, schedule a visit with Dr. LaCour. With proper diagnosis, your treatment could be easier than you think. Call us at (225) 757-8450 or contact us online.