Do you regularly experience a stiff, painful jaw or migraine headaches? If so, you may be experiencing a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are the small set of hinges on your lower jaw that allows it to move fluidly whenever you eat, speak, laugh, or yawn. Like other joints in the body, it can sometimes become misaligned or injured, and this can lead to a variety of both dental and overall health problems, including chronic pain. Our team is specially trained to find, diagnose, and treat these kinds of issues, so if you’re ready to get the relief you need today, be sure to contact us for an appointment.
If you come to see us and are showing the signs of a TMD, we’ll first work to find the root cause of the issue. Sometimes, a misalignment of the teeth can cause tension in the jaw joint and facial muscles, or the joint may have received an injury or developed arthritis. Using a variety of scans, we’ll find the source of your pain so we can prescribe the appropriate treatment. Fortunately, a TMD can usually be resolved using simple, non-invasive methods such as those outlined below.
Sometimes, a TMD may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth that prevents the jaw joint from reaching its natural resting position (as in where it should be when your mouth is closed). This can lead to tension in the muscles and even unconscious teeth grinding. With an equilibration/ occlusal adjustment, we’ll gently reshape just a few of your teeth to help them close properly and allow the joint/muscles to relax, which should help any related pain quickly go away.
Another way we can treat a TMD is with a small, custom-made oral appliance called an occlusal splint. This will gently shift the jaw so that the joint and muscles are in a more natural, relaxed position. A patient will only need to wear it to bed, and after a few months of consistent use, many patients are able to stop wearing the device entirely, though some will have to continue in order to keep seeing results.