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 options for TMJ therapy in Grapevine, TX 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 dental 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.
Are you still curious about TMJ therapy in Grapevine? Feel free to contact our office to speak with one of our friendly front team members with any specific concerns. However, we also know you may like to do your own research, which is why we’ve included the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about TMJ therapy below!
Because there is a direct connection between chronic headaches, tinnitus, and TMJ disorder, there is a good chance that your symptoms will relieve with treatment. That said, there is no way to make a 100% guarantee that these issues will never come back, which is why follow up appointments and consistent treatment are so important.
No two cases are the same, which is why your length of treatment can vary. In general, you shouldn’t wear your TMJ splint longer than 6 months. It is possible to overuse your treatment, which can cause additional problems. Your specific instructions will depend on your case – we may recommend that you wear your splint only during sleep or all the time.
You may picture your teeth when you think of dentistry, but Dr. Martin has the training and knowledge to offer a variety of services. In fact, his deep understanding of the connection between your mouth, jaw, head, and neck is precisely why he is a great resource for TMJ treatment. Using his extensive knowledge and training, Dr. Martin offers custom-made occlusal splints as well as adjustments. He can often correct serious TMJ problems without the need for surgery or orthodontics, but this will vary.
TMJ disorder is often associated with symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, tinnitus, and more, but there are other issues that can cause these problems, including:
If you do notice any of these warning signs and you haven’t previously been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, it’s vital to seek out the help of a professional. Dr. Martin is always ready to help when he can, but he may also refer you to a medical doctor if you’re suffering from any of the conditions listed above.
In some cases, oral appliances for sleep apnea can relieve TMJ symptoms, but you should never attempt to treat yourself. Whether you’ve already been treated for sleep apnea or not, contact Dr. Martin for a consultation. In some cases, sleep apnea splints can actually worsen your TMJ disorder, which is why it’s so important to see a professional.
If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and learn more!