Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction or TMD occurs when the small joints that connect the jaw and skull bones are damaged or strained. The result can be as minimal as slight discomfort or tension in the jaw or as severe as complete inability to open and close the mouth. At Smiles by Martin, we offer a number of TMJ treatment options to relieve pain and restore oral health for patients suffering from TMD. Contact us to find out more or schedule a TMJ consultation.
Before we can help you relieve the pain of TMJ, we'll need to get an accurate diagnosis. This will involve a visual examination of your jaw and joint motion, diagnostic x-rays, and a series of questions about your symptoms. We may notice concerns that indicate TMJ during your regular six month checkup, but if you experience any of the following warning signs, contact our office right away:
Once we diagnose patients with TMJ, Dr. Greg Martin sits down with them one on one to review their treatment options and develop a personalized plan to restore their full range of pain-free jaw movement.
The most commonly recommended treatment for patients suffering from mild to moderate TMJ is wearing a custom-crafted nightguard during sleep. Much of the strain and damage to the TMJ that patients experience occurs during sleep when they’re unable to prevent themselves from grinding or clenching their teeth together tightly. Nightguards, also known as occlusal splints, reduce the unconscious jaw motion by keeping the jaw in its ideal resting position. After a few nights, many patients report experiencing significant pain reduction and improved range of jaw motion. If patients do not achieve significant relief within a few weeks, we may need to explore more advanced treatment options.
In more severe cases, we may recommend surgical or orthodontic treatments to adjust the position of the jaw and how the bite fits together. These more advanced procedures may need to be performed in conjunction with one or more local specialists to ensure patients receive the high quality, effective treatments they deserve. We may also recommend daily stretching exercises for the jaw, stress reduction, and other behavioral adjustments that may be beneficial in relieving TMD pain.