TMJ TREATMENT: AN OVERVIEW
Problems in the jaw system can significantly compromise your quality of life. TMJ pain occurs when there is damage to the TMJ joint, most often caused by trauma, stress, or other injuries. Dr. Huckin has been an active member of the American Equilibration Society, the largest society dedicated to the study of TMJ disorders.
If you experience any of the following signs, you may be suffering from a TMJ Disorder:
- Chipped or worn down teeth
- Clicking, popping, locking and/or soreness just in front of the ear
- Sore jaw muscles
- Bite related problems
- Cervical neck issues
- Ringing in the ears
- Bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding)
- Sinus-like concerns
What Is TMJ?
“TMJ” is the common dentistry term for an issue with the temporomandibular joint of your jaw. This joint connects the temporal bone of the skull and the lower mandible of the jaw to support chewing and speaking. When there is damage to the joint or tension in the muscles surrounding it, patients may experience painful symptoms including headaches. An experienced restorative dentist in Dallas, Dr. Huckin offers TMJ treatment options for our patients.
A TMJ disorder can be addressed with a variety of different treatment options. To determine which option is best for you, Dr. Huckin will need to evaluate the current condition of your smile and jawbone. The ultimate goal of your treatment is to identify the issue with your jaw and improve your bite pattern so that the muscles of your mouth are not under additional strain.
TMJ TREATMENT: WHAT TO EXPECT
Dr. Huckin’s primary TMJ therapy includes splints and retainers of various designs that can correct bad bites, decrease stress at the joint level and reduce muscle hyperactivity, including clenching and grinding habits. This may be followed with bite treatment through bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics, or restorative dentistry as needed.
Dr. Huckin’s approach to providing TMJ relief is very thorough: determining the cause and effect relationship is key to identifying the problem and treatment. Together, we will find the most effective solution for you.
During the initial stages of your TMJ treatment, Dr. Huckin will need to provide you with a thorough exam of your jaw structure to determine the current state of your dental health. Most patients with TMJ disorders have a history of teeth grinding. Patients who grind their teeth usually do so unconsciously, so it can be difficult to diagnose until these painful symptoms arise. That’s why we encourage our patients to see us every six months so Dr. Huckin can continually monitor your dental health for signs of teeth grinding.
Patients experiencing TMJ disorder may present with the following symptoms:
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Pain around the temporomandibular joints.
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Popping or clicking noise when chewing or speaking
These symptoms significantly affect our patient’s daily life and can become unbearable over time. However, our treatment options have proven to be very effective. Our common TMJ treatment solution is prescribing a nightguard, which is very similar to a mouthguard. Our nightguards are custom-made to fit comfortably and securely in your mouth. Nightguards are only worn at night and help adjust your jaw’s resting position to prevent teeth grinding and reduce tension over time. For many patients, the nightly use of this oral appliance can greatly reduce their TMJ symptoms.
Additionally, Dr. Huckin may include the following options for TMJ treatment:
- Restorative dentistry: If your teeth are damaged due to teeth grinding, Dr. Huckin can assist you in regaining the look and function of your teeth, gums, and jaw.
- Orthodontics: For more extensive issues with the jaw structure, Dr. Huckin may recommend orthodontic solutions to relieve the TMJ symptoms.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
If you suspect you’ve been grinding your teeth or if you experience frequent pain in your jawbone, contact our office as soon as possible. We are here to help you restore your peace of mind with a TMJ treatment plan that is patient-centered. Our team is here to help. Schedule an appointment today or contact our office for any questions you may have on TMJ disorders and treatment options.