Do you constantly experience pain and stiffness in your jaw? Are headaches an everyday thing for you? Have other doctors not been able to help you with these problems? If so, they could be caused by issues with your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. This is your jaw joint, and problems here (referred to as TMJ disorders or TMDs) can lead to chronic pain throughout the face, head, and neck. Thankfully, our dentists can diagnose and treat the most common causes of TMDs using proven and conservative therapies. Give us a call today to learn more and start getting the relief you need!
The TMJ is made up of a complex system of bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves, and any imbalance, strain, or tension can easily turn into pain that radiates throughout the body. To diagnose a TMD, we’ll take X-rays of the joint and perform a series of mobility tests so that we can determine the root cause of the problem. Once this is done, our dentists can use one or more of the following treatments to restore function and stop any discomfort.
A TMD can be brought on by a misaligned bite that puts uneven pressure on the joint. To fix this, we can scan the bite to find the particular areas where there is too much or not enough contact between the teeth, and then we can build up chosen teeth or slightly reshape them to create a nice, balanced bite. At this point, the joint should be able to relax and heal on its own.
These are therapeutic mouthguards only worn to bed, and they work by gently shifting the lower jaw forward in order to relieve any tension in the muscles and ligaments. They also prevent unconscious teeth grinding during sleep, another common source of TMJ issues. After a patient has worn one consistently for a few weeks or months, the TMJ will adjust to this new position, and the patient should be able to go about their day without any symptoms.
The TENS machine uses small electronic pulses to basically “massage” the muscles of the TMJ. Electrodes are applied to the face and jaw, and as the machine gently stimulates the muscles, this increases blood flow, aids in relaxation, reduces swelling, and flushes out inflammatory factors. This can provide immediate relief for patients experiencing acute TMJ pain, and it can also serve as part of an ongoing treatment plan.