Pain Relieving TMJ Dysfunction Therapies
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are tiny connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull bone and allow for pain-free movement when chewing, speaking, and smiling. However, this tiny TMJ can cause big oral health concerns when too much strain or use leads to TMJ dysfunction, often referred to simply as TMD. For patients experiencing the jaw pain, chronic headaches, and impeded mouth movement that indicate a need for TMJ therapy, relief cannot come too soon. At Rowen Dentistry, we offer safe, effective treatments for patients suffering from TMD. Contact us to find out more or get started on your TMD treatment today.
TMJ Dysfunction Diagnosis
The first step in treatment is the diagnosis. We need to determine whether or not you are suffering from TMJ dysfunction and attempt to discern the underlying cause of your TMD. It’s important you let our team know right away if you experience any of the common warning signs of TMJ dysfunction including:
- Pain when moving the jaw
- Clicking sound when moving the jaw
- Impeded jaw movement or complete jaw immobility
- Chronic, severe headaches
- Radiating head, neck, back, and shoulder pain
Learn more about Diagnosis & Treatment
Equilibration & Occlusal Adjustments
If we diagnose TMJ dysfunction, there are a variety of therapies we may recommend to reduce the side effects and restore full jaw movement. For mild TMD, we ask patients to use stretches at home and anti-inflammatory medication to relieve discomfort. Patients who suffer from TMJ as a result of stress may benefit from treatment for anxiety, and other behavior changes to reduce daily stress. In most cases, the most important aspect of treatment is determining why the TMJ were strained or damaged, to begin with, so we can reverse this condition by equilibrating the way the teeth, jaw, skull, and other oral and facial structures work together to ensure they all receive equal pressure. Nightguards or occlusal appliances are one of the tools we commonly used to relieve excess pressure on the TMJ. These guards are custom and completely comfortable. Worn during sleep, they position the jaw in its ideal location relieving strain. After several weeks or months of nightly wear, most patients begin to see significant improvement in their comfort and oral function.