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TMJ Treatment Storts Family Dentistry

Storts Family Dentistry offers comprehensive treatment for patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Our experienced dental team is trained to identify the signs and symptoms of a bite disorder. They will evaluate your entire mouth to accurately diagnose your TMJ disorder and find the right treatment for you. Depending on the severity of your condition and the damage done, there are several treatment options you may need to address your TMJ symptoms. Storts Family Dentistry offers TMJ treatment in Madill and Ardmore, OK for those who suffer from a TMJ disorder, or TMD.

TMJ treatment in Madill and Ardmore, OK

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint connecting the jawbone (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull. These joints, one on each side of the head, enable essential movements such as chewing, speaking, and yawning. The TMJ consists of a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones working together to facilitate smooth jaw function.

What is a TMJ Disorder?

A TMJ disorder refers to a dysfunction or abnormality in the temporomandibular joint, muscles, or surrounding structures. This disorder causes pain, discomfort, and impaired movement of the jaw joint. There is often not a single cause of TMJ disorders. The various causes that can lead to TMD include jaw injuries, arthritis, bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), and stress-related habits.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

  • Pain or Tenderness: Patients with TMJ disorders may experience pain or tenderness in the jaw joint area, which may extend to the face, neck, and shoulders.
  • Clicking or Popping Sounds: Clicking, popping, or grating sounds during jaw movement are common symptoms. These noises may be audible to the individual or others and can indicate issues within the joint.
  • Limited Jaw Movement: A reduced range of motion in the jaw, leading to difficulty opening or closing the mouth fully, is a prevalent symptom of TMJ disorders.
  • Frequent Headaches: TMJ disorders can contribute to tension headaches, often starting at the jaw and radiating to the temples.
  • Ear Pain or Fullness: Discomfort in the ears, including pain or a feeling of fullness, may occur due to the proximity of the TMJ to the ear structures.
  • Facial Fatigue: Chronic fatigue or discomfort in the face, especially after prolonged periods of talking or chewing, can be a sign of a TMJ disorder.
  • Locking of the Jaw: In severe cases, the jaw may lock in an open or closed position, requiring manual manipulation to restore normal function.

TMJ Treatment in Southern Oklahoma

  • Conservative Therapies: Your dentist will often suggest conservative, non-invasive treatments for TMJ disorders first. This may include lifestyle modifications, stress management techniques, and the application of moist heat or cold packs to alleviate symptoms.
  • Pain Medications: We may recommend over-the-counter pain medications or prescription medications to help manage pain and inflammation associated with TMJ disorders.
  • Oral Splints or Mouthguards: Custom-fitted oral splints or mouthguards can help reduce the impact of teeth grinding or clenching. Bruxism is a major contributor to TMJ disorders, and these devices, when worn during sleep, will help reduce the stress on the jaw joints.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy techniques, including jaw exercises, stretching, and massage, may be suggested to improve jaw mobility and reduce muscle tension.
  • Restorative Dentistry Work: Your dentist may use restorative dentistry to adjust the bite. Dental work, such as reshaping teeth or replacing missing teeth, may be suggested to address underlying issues that may be contributing to TMJ disorders.

Oral Appliance Therapy for TMJ Disorders

One of the effective and increasingly popular treatments for TMJ disorders is oral appliance therapy. This approach involves the use of custom-fitted mouthpieces to address the symptoms.

Occlusal splints, also known as stabilization splints or bite guards, are custom-made devices that fit over the upper or lower teeth. They are designed to create a stable bite and prevent grinding or clenching, reducing the strain on the TMJ. These splints are often worn at night and can provide relief from pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.

Bite Alignment for TMJ Disorder

If your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, then you may benefit from orthodontic treatment or dental work. Storts Family Dentistry offers Invisalign which is a clear aligner system that can bring your teeth into proper alignment. We also provide porcelain veneers and dental crowns which can also help correct any bite issues that are contributing to your TMJ disorder.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

Are you looking for more information about TMJ treatment? Storts Family Dentistry compiled the top questions and answers they receive to help patients gain a fundamental understanding of TMD and the treatments they offer. Our goal is to provide our patients with more information about oral appliance therapy and this condition. Contact Storts Family Dentistry in Madill or Ardmore, OK if you have further questions about TMJ treatment.

Will my TMJ disorder go away without treatment?

In some cases yes, TMJ will go away without treatment. Sometimes the condition is temporary and only causes mild symptoms. However, severe TMD requires professional evaluation and treatment. To prevent future problems, it is vital to address the disorder and alleviate discomfort.

What causes TMD?

Many things can lead to TMD. There are also many risk factors involved. The most common ones that we know of include injury to the face and jaw, arthritis affecting the jaw, teeth grinding (bruxism), poor posture, genetic predisposition, and teeth misalignment. Stress can make the condition worse by increasing the tension in the jaw. If we can pinpoint the exact cause of your TMJ disorder, treating it is much easier.

How is TMD diagnosed?

Your dentist will conduct a physical exam of your jaw and mouth. They will check for pain or tenderness and observe your jaw’s range of motion. Your dentist will also review your medical history and may also utilize imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans. All of this information will show if your temporomandibular joints or their surrounding structures are under duress.

What is oral appliance therapy for TMD?

An oral appliance for TMD is essentially a TMJ mouthguard. It is a custom-fitted device that you will wear over your teeth. This custom device reduces pressure on the temporomandibular joint, Prevents teeth grinding, and realigns the jaw.

How effective is oral appliance therapy for TMD?

A TMJ mouthguard can provide significant symptom relief for people with TMD. It can improve the function of the jaw, especially now when combined with other treatments. Most notably a TMJ mouthguard can reduce jaw pain, decrease joint noise, and help the jaw open and close. However, effectiveness will vary from patient to patient, and you may need to use it along with other treatments, such as physical therapy.

Can oral appliances cure my TMJ disorder?

Oral appliance therapy cannot cure a TMJ disorder. It can reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life. The TMJ mouth guard is typically one part of a treatment plan for a TMJ disorder. While it will reduce stress on the jaw and prevent teeth grinding, ongoing management of this disorder may require additional treatments for permanent relief.

Are there any side effects of using oral appliances for TMD?

There are possible side effects of using a TMJ mouthguard however, we feel these do not outweigh the benefits of using one. Side effects include minor discomfort, increase saliva production, and temporary changes to your bite. Most of these will subside when you adjust to using the appliance. Also, improper or excessive use of the mouth guard can lead to changes in tooth position or jaw alignment. Regular follow-up with your dentist will monitor for this and adjust your treatment accordingly.

Call Storts Family Dentistry today to book your consultation for TMJ treatment in Madill and Ardmore, OK. After examining your entire mouth, our dental team will determine the right TMJ treatment for you. You can reach us at (580) 260-3410 or by requesting an appointment online.