Can Kids get TMJ Disorder?

can kids get tmjRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJD often is a problem that plagues adults, especially women. But, can kids get TMJ disorder too? When it comes to children in pain, it is very heartbreaking for most parents. If your child is suffering from pain in their jaws, they hear clicking or popping noises when eating or talking, or have lockjaw; they could have temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for opening and closing the mouth and aids in speaking and chewing. Since most dental conditions could occur at any age, your child could develop TMJ disorder. Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak, is sharing some information to help you identify TMJD and understand available treatments to help eliminate this painful condition for your child.

TMJ Disorders Outlined

The temporomandibular joint is where the jawbone and skull are connected. When there is inflammation or another disturbance to the joint or surrounding tissue, it can create painful sensations that radiate through the jaw, head, and neck, and lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The most common TMJD symptoms children complain about are consistent headaches or earaches, pain or swelling in the jaw, problems with opening and closing their mouths, or the inability to open or close their mouth. When your child expresses any one of the conditions, contact Dr. Hartrick, a Royal Oak dentist that treats TMJ disorder, to get a full examination and begin treatment immediately.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

Although teenage girls are more likely than other adolescents to develop TMJ disorder, those who develop the condition could be of any gender, age, or background. Even though the exact causes for TMJD are not known, certain factors may cause the condition to occur, such as anxiety, teeth grinding, jaw misalignment, or head trauma. Mouth breathing, and orofacial myofunctional disorders (tongue-tie, tongue thrust, open mouth posture), may also be the cause of a misaligned jaw or TMJD. Therefore, Dr. Hartrick advises to schedule an appointment for a full examination when your child experiences symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Treatment for Children with TMJ Disorder

Once your child has been examined and diagnosed by your family-friendly dentist in Birmingham at Hartrick Dentistry, there are various treatments available to address their pain. The proper treatment for your child will depend on the severity of the condition. For some patients, braces or orthodontic treatments to realign the bite and jaw may relieve the TMJ tension. If an orofacial myofunctional disorder is causing your child’s jaw to be misaligned, a course of myofunctional therapy could help strengthen the jaw and tongue muscles, as well as teach these muscles how to function properly. Correcting orofacial myofunctional disorders through facial growth development at an early age allows the jaws to grow to their full potential, which could help lessen your child’s risk of having TMJD in adulthood. If your child has bruxism or clenches and grinds their teeth while sleeping, a custom-made nightguard could reduce jaw joint pain. If your child experiences lockjaw, contact an emergency dentist in Royal Oak, Hartrick Dentistry, immediately.

Treatment for TMJ Disorder in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Seeing your child in pain can be difficult for parents. At your neuromuscular dentist in Birmingham, Hartrick Dentistry, we take special care of children who suffer from TMJ disorder. From the initial examination to the end of your child’s treatment, our goal is to ensure your child experiences the least amount of pain from this condition. If your child is showing signs of possible TMJ symptoms, feel free to contact us by calling (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!

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    Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
    32609 Woodward Ave.
    Royal Oak, MI 48073
    Call: 248-549-0950
    Fax: 248-549-1180