TMJ Therapy – Rock Hill, SC
Relieve Chronic Jaw Pain
If you place your fingertips just under your ears and open your mouth, you’ll feel something moving. These are the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that connect the lower jaw to the rest of your skull; they’re also what allows you to eat, speak, and smile comfortably. If there’s a problem with your TMJs, the result could be serious pain and even a loss of mobility in your jaw. To avoid such issues, call Coombs & Ross Family Dentistry to schedule a consultation if you notice the symptoms of a TMJ disorder.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
A TMJ disorder is a condition where your jaw joints or the tissues around them have become strained or injured. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is different from case to case, and oftentimes it’s difficult to know exactly where it started. Common contributing factors include arthritis, injury, bruxism (unconscious clenching or grinding of the jaw), and even genetics.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Our team can discover TMJ disorder relatively early on with a thorough examination of the jaw. There are a few common symptoms that can warn you that you might have a TMJ disorder, such as:
- Chronic pain that’s specifically in the jaw, face, head, shoulder, or neck.
- Constantly feeling like you have an earache.
- Hearing a popping or clicking sound whenever you move your jaw.
- Having trouble opening your mouth fully.
- Difficulty chewing.
If you notice any of these symptoms, get in touch with us as soon as you can. Ignoring a TMJ disorder could cause the symptoms to grow worse over time.
Types of TMJ Treatment
Because TMJ disorder can have various causes, there are also many different types of treatment that we might recommend depending on the situation. Here is what we will likely recommend if we confirm that a TMJ disorder is the source of your jaw pain.
An occlusal splint is an oral appliance that is made to hold the upper and lower jaw in a more relaxed position. This allows your TMJs to rest and recover, reducing your chronic discomfort as a result. Occlusal splints also protect your teeth from bruxism, a condition commonly linked to TMJ disorders.
If your TMJ disorder is caused by a misaligned bite, the solution is to return harmony to your smile as a whole by making small changes to your teeth. This is known as an occlusal adjustment. Typically, it involves removing a minimal amount of enamel in specific areas of your mouth; in some cases, we might also place crowns to “build up” a tooth instead. The goal is to ensure that your two rows of teeth meet each other evenly so that the forces of your bite are properly distributed, relieving your pain.
Treatment with a TENS Machine
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy involves sending a low-frequency voltage electrical current into the parts of the body where pain is occurring. The current allows the muscles around the joint to relax, relieving some of the stress around the area. It also blocks pain signals being sent to your brain, making it so that you don’t register the discomfort.
BOTOX® has more than just cosmetic applications. By injecting it into the area around your TMJ, it can help the muscles relax and unclench. This helps reduce your pain as well as any headaches that might have occurred as a result of your TMJ disorder. The treatment lasts about 3 to 4 months; at the end of that period, you can come back to our office for another session so that you can continue to enjoy your relief.