Do you suffer from frequent headaches in the morning? Reoccurring jaw pain?
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD) can be a debilitating condition that includes neck pain that may spread to the shoulders, jaw pain, migraines, difficulty chewing, and the inability to fully open or close your mouth. At Henrich Dental we use several treatments such as botox, a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit, or an orthodontics device to treat your TMJ disorder symptoms.
Problems with the temporomandibular joint often happen because of a misaligned bite, or through grinding and clenching teeth at night. If you start noticing the symptoms, contact us immediately. We will work with you, one-on-one, to determine the best solution for immediate relief.
What is a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?
The term TMJ actually refers to the jaw joint, or temporomandibular joint. This joint is where the jaw attaches to the skull and it facilitates speaking and chewing. If there is stress in this joint due to an imbalance somewhere in the jaw or teeth grinding, it can lead to many painful symptoms.
The common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Headaches, including migraines
- Jaw pain and dysfunction (clicking, popping and locking)
- Difficulty chewing
- Neck and shoulder discomfort, pain and stiffness
- Ear pain or loss of hearing
- Ringing or pressure in the ears
- Stiffness or pain in the joints of your jaw
- Tenderness or swelling in the face
- Jaws that lock
- Hindered ability to open or close your mouth
- Clicking, grating, or popping noises
- An uncomfortable bite
Dr. Henrich will evaluate your occlusion, or bite, during routine visits and look for signs of teeth grinding such as worn or damaged teeth. Reducing the tension in the TMJ caused by malocclusion or teeth grinding will alleviate headaches and other possible symptoms. This can be accomplished with appropriate treatment and addressing the underlying cause for lasting comfort and a healthy smile.
Treatment for TMJ Headaches
Your treatment will depend on the severity of your problem and whether there is a need for tooth repair or realigning the bite.
- Orthotic: the most conservative option for patients who may be grinding their teeth but show no signs of wear or damage, a custom fit orthotic can align the jaw joints and prevent muscle tension as a result of teeth grinding.
- Restorative dentistry: Henrich Dental may recommend restorative procedures to repair worn teeth or adjust the bite. These can include tooth bonding and dental crowns.
- Orthodontics: for patients with crooked or misaligned teeth that are affecting the bite, braces may be recommended to improve dental health and TMJ symptoms.
If you have been experiencing recurring headaches or migraines with no relief from traditional treatment options, discuss your concerns with us at your next visit!
TMJ Treatment FAQs
What is the best treatment for TMJ?
Most patients find that a custom oral appliance is their best option to manage and treat their TMJ symptoms. A custom oral appliance is the most common treatment for patients with mild to moderate TMJ pain. Patients with more severe issues can benefit from orthodontics and oral surgery. If your dentist in Tulsa, OK finds that you do not have oral deformities or severe malocclusion, you will most likely be prescribed an oral appliance.
How long does it take for TMJ to go away?
The length of treatment and when you start seeing results depends heavily on the severity of your issue, and the treatment type. For example, if you undergo oral surgery for your TMJ, you can expect the issue to be resolved in no time. More conservative treatments can take a little longer to see results. Unfortunately, mild and unaddressed TMJ can last a lifetime without the patient knowing they have it.
Can sleeping on your side cause TMJ?
Sleeping on your side, without other factors involved, does not cause TMJ. However, it does cause TMJ issues to become worse. Side sleepers with TMJ issues may need to adjust their sleeping position to help reduce the harm and side-effects of TMJ. Sleeping face-up is the best way to sleep if you have a TMJ disorder.
TMJ Therapy at Henrich Dental
The temporomandibular joint is used for talking, eating, swallowing, and a range of other activities. If we determine that it’s the source of your pain, it can interfere with a lot of things you do every day. Botox has become a popular treatment for TMD disorders that cause tension or pain in the jaw. When it is injected into the muscles that are affected by the disorder, you can start to get immediate relief from the headaches and stress and even minimize lock jaw. Depending on your situation, Dr. Henrich may recommend an oral appliance to correct your jaw position and curve teeth grinding.
Dr. Henrich is a member of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. He has completed a Sleep Medicine & Dentistry Mini-Residency to improve his skills and knowledge of TMD. He continues to pursue education and training so he can offer the best dental solutions to his patients.
Enriching lives, it’s what we do here at Henrich Dental. Call us today at (918) 262-4731 to schedule a worry-free consultation, or request an appointment online today.