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The complex temporomandibular joints that hinge your mouth include a series of muscles, connective tissues, cartilage structures and bones. They play an obvious and important role in your oral function and the general motion of your jaw.

Problems with chronic inflammation, persistent tension, or physical dysfunction with the temporomandibular joints are often assigned the term TMJ disorder. It can often be attributed to a variety of factors.

Chronic symptoms often include a dull ache around the temples and jaw muscles. They might also occur in conjunction with discomfort when clenching your jaw muscles as well as uncomfortable clicking or locking up of your jaw.  

If you have been experiencing a problem with your temporomandibular joints, it’s best to have your TMJ disorder professionally treated by a qualified dentist like Dr. Harris and Dr. Culpepper. After a comprehensive examination, they can help you understand your possible treatment options.

This might include simple dietary changes, performing facial stretches and applying hot or cold packs. Sometimes consuming a standard daily dosage of an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication might also be helpful.

In some cases, TMJ disorder discomfort can be worsened by chronic night grinding. If our dentist suspects this is a factor he might recommend using a dental guard when you sleep. This is a removable soft plastic mouthpiece that you place in your mouth before falling asleep. It is designed to cushion the biting surfaces of your teeth while also allowing a modest amount of slip between the two sets of teeth. This can help protect your teeth while also reducing some of the muscular tension in the temporomandibular joints.

If you live in the Laurel, Mississippi, area and you have been experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder, you should call 601-649-3344 to seek further diagnosis at Harris Dental Clinic.