Does your jaw pop and click every time you move it? Is it sore, or does it even become stuck sometimes while opening and closing? If so, then you may be suffering from TMJ disorder or TMD. Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the set of hinges located below your ears that enables your lower jaw to move in all directions, and it can develop inflammation and dysfunction that leads to chronic pain throughout the head, face, and neck. TMD is actually one of the leading causes of migraines! Fortunately, at Gentling Dental Care, we can provide the specialty treatment patients need to get out of pain and back to their regular lives.
- Custom-made oral appliances for every patient
- Able to improve function & relieve pain at the same time
- Team led by 4 highly-trained dentists
We examine the TMJ at every routine checkup, and if a patient is reporting or showing any signs of a TMD, we'll examine the joint further in order to determine what is causing the problem. This may involve testing the range of mobility and taking X-rays to get a better look. Once we figure out the underlying cause of the dysfunction (which can be an injury, arthritis, or a misaligned bite), we can then recommend the appropriate treatment.
When the upper and lower teeth aren't able to come together properly, this can put a strain on the muscles and nerves of the TMJ, leading to pain and stiffness in and around the jaw. One easy way to fix things is to simply adjust the teeth. With an equilibration, we reshape a few key teeth so that the bite is able to come together correctly, enabling the joint to reach its natural resting position, which should quickly relieve any discomfort.
Another way we can treat TMD is by having a patient wear a therapeutic mouthpiece to bed called an occlusal splint. These work by slightly adjusting the jaw into a more natural position so that the muscles surrounding the joint are able to relax and heal on their own. These splints can also protect the teeth from another common symptom of TMD-nocturnal teeth grinding. After a few months of consistent use, a patient should be able to go throughout their day symptom-free.