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Although it seems simple to open and close our mouths, there is actually a complex process required for this ability to take place. Within our jaw, temporomandibular joints, also called TMJs, use ball and socket joints that work in unison with ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones to create a finely-tuned mechanism to accomplish the task. Due to the complex nature of the operation, if a single part of the mechanism fails, it can impact the entire system function. Damage to your TMJ can result in a malfunction in the jaw which can impact your oral health. If you do have damage to a TMJ, here are some treatment methods that may help:

— If you feel any discomfort from a TMJ disorder, heat or ice packs may be able to help.

— For at-home treatment methods for TMJ disorders, mental relaxation techniques such as meditation and biofeedback can be used to decrease jaw tension.

— Avoid foods and habits that can make TMJ disorders worse, such as chewy or hard foods, chewing gum, and biting your nails.

— If you suffer from bruxism, a bite plate or night guard can also help assuage damage to your TMJs.

Visit your dentist at TMJ Therapy if you experience any of these signs of a TMJ disorder that require treatment: pain in or around your ears, tender jaw muscles, clicking or popping sounds in your jaw, pain when opening or closing your mouth including when yawning or chewing, a limited range of jaw motion, or minor headaches.

To schedule an oral exam with Dr. Carl McMillan and our wonderful team at our dentist office in American Fork, Utah, call us at 801-756-0900. Let us help you take charge of your future with a healthy smile.