TMJ Therapy – Waverly
Relief from Chronic Facial Pain & Headaches
You may spend most of your life unaware of the important little triangular-shaped joints located in front of your ears. Under normal conditions, they join your lower jaw and temporal bone, allowing your mouth to open and close easily. However, stress or an improper bite can cause the joints to dysfunction, exposing nerve endings to create pain. The resulting TMJ disorder, or TMD, can create a variety of mild to severe symptoms, from jaw clicking and minor discomfort to sharp pain in your temple, ear, neck, and shoulders.
The condition is very common in our culture, so we evaluate patients for TMD at their regular dental exams. If we detect a problem, our goals are to arrest it, protect teeth from further damage, and correct underlying bite misalignment. Therapy may involve fitting you with a physiologic bite appliance, suggesting ways to alleviate stress, and recommending symptom relief measures. Typically, TMJ patients need to avoid chewing gum or hard, chewy food, take small bites, and alternate chewing between both sides of the mouth.
Why Choose Amberly Dental for TMJ Therapy?
- Able to diagnose & treat TMJ issues in-house
- Can help stop nocturnal teeth grinding & persistent headaches
- Custom-made splints provide treatment while you sleep
Diagnosis & Treatment
As we touched on above, the most common cause of a TMD is stress, but factors such as injury, arthritis, and a misaligned bite can lead to dysfunction in the joint as well. If a patient reports or exhibits any symptoms of TMD, we will perform a number of tests and take X-rays of the joint to figure out the underlying issue. From there, we can then recommend the appropriate treatment plan to provide complete relief.
An occlusal splint is a custom-made mouthpiece, and it helps with TMJ issues by slightly repositioning the jaw into a more relaxed and natural orientation. This takes pressure off of the nerves in the area and enables the muscles to heal. The appliance can also help prevent the damage caused by nocturnal teeth grinding, another common symptom of TMD. A patient simply has to wear their splint to bed, and after a few weeks of consistent use, they should be able to go throughout their day pain-free.