TMJ Specialist

Corry R. Lanyon, DDS

Dentist & Comprehensive, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry located in Butler, MO

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on both sides of your head connecting your jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to open and close your mouth for speaking and chewing. When your TMJ isn’t working properly, you develop TMJ disorder, causing headaches, pain, and a locking sensation in your jaw. At Dr. Corry Lanyon, DDS, located in Butler, Missouri, the dental team helps you find a solution to your TMJ disorder. For further information, call the office or book your appointment online.

TMJ Q & A

What is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)?

Your TMJ connects your skull to your jawbone. If it isn’t functioning properly, it becomes challenging and painful to chew, speak, and even open your mouth.

While the causes of TMJ disorder aren’t fully understood, it’s often pinpointed to a few factors including jaw injury or clenching and grinding of your teeth. Symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Pain or swelling around your jaw
  • Earaches or headaches
  • Pain radiating across your face
  • Jaw popping or locking
  • Difficulty chewing due to pain

If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, your dentist can make a diagnosis by listening to and palpitating your jaw as you open and close it. Additionally, X-rays are used as diagnostic tools. Depending on the diagnosis, your dentist may refer you to a physician or begin treating you at Dr. Corry Lanyon, DDS.

How do dentists treat TMJ disorder?

Teeth clenching and grinding is a big factor contributing to TMJ disorder and its other symptoms because of the pressure you’re putting on that specific joint.  

To alleviate the pain and stress from your TMJ, your dentist may recommend a custom-made mouthguard because it acts as a barrier between your top and bottom teeth. 

When you clench and grind your teeth, you’re not only putting a lot of stress on your TMJ, but you’re also causing wear and tear to your teeth. 

By separating your top and bottom teeth with a mouthguard, you’re no longer able to clench and grind them. 

If your TMJ disorder is due to a misaligned smile, the team can refer you to an orthodontist for treatments like braces. Often times, orthodontic treatment helps alleviate many TMJ symptoms.

How can I avoid grinding my teeth?

Grinding your teeth can lead to other consequences such as muscle aches, ear pain, and headaches. To avoid clenching and grinding your teeth, the dental staff recommends you take the following actions:

  • Limit your gum chewing
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Wear a mouthguard at night
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Practice relaxation techniques

If you’re experiencing pain around your jaw or you clench your teeth at night, make sure to schedule an appointment online or call the staff at Dr. Corry Lanyon, DDS.