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Patients who experience clenching, popping, and locking of the jaw joint might be dealing with a condition known as TMD or temporomandibular disorder. It is a condition caused by a malfunctioning TMJ (temporomandibular joint) that affects how the mouth’s muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones work. When this issue becomes common or “chronic,” it is diagnosed as TMJ disorder, or TMD. Dr. Sean Kennelly is a dentist at Argyle Family Dental who offers treatment and relief for patients who have been diagnosed with this condition and are seeking a solution.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ/TMD?

Many patients seeking relief may deal with more than just discomfort around the joint. In fact, patients with TMJ/TMD may notice many of the following issues:

  • Clicking/popping of the jaw joint when eating or talking
  • Coexisting conditions such as bruxism (clenching and grinding)
  • Pain around the jaw joint that can radiate down the neck and to the shoulders
  • Locking of the jaw joint in the open or closed position
  • Joint or muscle pain around the area
  • Chronic TMJ headaches and migraines

What can be done about TMJ/TMD problems? 

Patients who are seeking TMJ relief have several options to consider. Those who have coexisting issues such as bruxism may find that a nightguard for teeth grinding and clenching can reduce muscle strain in the area. Oral appliances may be used to keep the mouth in the proper position and reduce tension in the jaw joint, reducing many of the symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint disorder. With an appropriate bite analysis and a complete evaluation with Dr. Sean Kennelly, patients can learn more about how severe their condition is and discuss treatment options outside of taking medications every day—which is the least desirable solution for many of our patients. We work with patients to find non-pharmaceutical treatment options whenever possible. 

Equilibration, or bite balancing, is another method by which we can treat TMD. Most people’s teeth don’t quite fit together how they are meant to and adjustments can be made to correct this. It can be beneficial to realign the teeth with orthodontics, or if the adjustments that are needed are minor, we can change the shape of the teeth to allow them to interact properly with one another to alleviate stress in the bite that causes pain.

Call Dr. Sean Kennelly today! 

If you need treatment for TMJ/TMD issues, please contact the team at Argyle Family Dental to discuss your options. Dr. Sean Kennelly can perform a thorough evaluation, offer a definitive diagnosis, and provide solutions to help patients find TMJ relief! Call (720) 573-2454 to request an appointment at 8120 S. Holly Street, Suite #208.

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