Do you suffer from frequent jaw or tooth pain? Do you wake up almost every morning with a sore jaw and headache? You may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause pain to the jaw joint and the jaw muscles because the temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull.
TMJ is the term dentists use when referring to TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorders. It is a complex group of disorders that are characterized by pain and limited mobility in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and surrounding tissue. There are few medical professionals with experience in diagnosing and treating TMDs.
Facial pain, tenderness and frequent headaches can often be a sign of a TMJ disorder. These bite disorders are a result of an imbalance in the masticatory system and can be difficult to diagnose without the proper expertise and diagnostic tools. Using the latest software and tools, Dr. Reece is able to identify, diagnose and treat the root cause of your TMJ-related disorder. He provides patients with relief from persistent and often painful symptoms.
TMD Treatment Options in Charlotte, NC
We provide TMJ treatment in Charlotte, NC to patients with jaw and facial pain, as well as the telltale signs of TMJ. We also provide many restorative options that can help alleviate jaw pain and symptoms of TMJ disorders. They can include physical therapy, lifestyle changes, Invisalign, oral appliances, and oral surgery.
When symptoms are mild, there are at-home options that you can try to help alleviate TMJ pain and discomfort without having to seek medical help. Some of these tasks include:
- Jaw movement exercises
- Relaxing your facial muscles
- Eating soft foods to help your jaw rest
- Sleeping on your side
- Taking anti inflammatories
- Using an ice pack in a clean cloth
- Using a heat pack
However, if your pain is severe and frequent, you can call us at Dentistry of the Queen City for pain relief. Dr. Reece will give you a full diagnosis, and recommend the appropriate treatment that you need. In most cases, you can avoid oral surgery. However, we may recommend a local oral surgeon in rare and severe cases. Dr. Greg Reece in Charlotte, NC provides effective TMJ treatment with orthodontics and oral appliances for all ages.
If you have misaligned teeth and have found that you suffer from TMJ pain, Invisalign may help. Misaligned teeth contribute to an uneven bite and unbalanced jawbone connection. This exacerbates TMJ pain.
Invisalign can straighten teeth gradually with a series of clear aligners to correct misaligned teeth and offer a more balanced bite, and reduce or eliminate TMJ pain. However, this option is not good for patients who clench and grind their teeth as a result of TMJ. Invisalign cannot stop bruxism.
Similar to mouthguards, oral appliances cover and protect teeth from grinding, preventing further wear and tear. You can wear oral appliances overnight or during stressful situations. These special devices will take the pressure off of the jaw and prevent teeth clenching and grinding. Many patients who elect to use oral appliances say that the devices drastically reduce symptoms within a couple of days.
Common Symptoms of TMJ Issues
There are many common symptoms of TMJ to look out for when it comes to diagnosing this disruptive disorder. The most commonly reported and noticeable symptoms of TMJ are headaches, migraines, ear issues, popping and clicking jaw sounds, and pain in the throat and back of jaw. Specific ear issues may include chronic ringing, muffled auditory, frequent earaches, and dizziness. Other signs of TMJ include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw tenderness
- Aching facial pain
- pain when you open and close your mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Jaw clicking or locking
- Shoulder pain
- Pain in your neck and shoulders
- Back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Teeth grinding
Excessive clenching and teeth grinding is a very common cause of TMJ. Many people who suffer from stress do this in their sleep and are not aware of it. Other causes may be an abnormal bite, trauma to the jaw area, or arthritis. If you notice any of the above signs, call our Mallard Creek dental practice today.
TMJ Therapy FAQs
Is TMJ treatment painful?
No, most treatments for TMJ are not invasive and painful. When treating patients with TMJ, we believe that less is best. Finding the source of the problem and making the necessary corrections, avoiding major procedures and surgery whenever possible. Therapies for TMJ may include: Lifestyle changes, splints, occlusal devices, and changes to the occlusion (bite) to correct problems or misalignment.
Do I need surgery to get rid of TMJ?
No, our dentist can address most TMJ issues with non-invasive and common dental procedures. Surgery will only be necessary if you have severe TMJ issues or jaw deformities. Dr. Reece will avoid recommending oral surgery whenever possible for your convenience.
Will a TMJ Disorder go away on its own?
It may, but there is no guarantee or way of knowing if it will go away on its own. It’s likely to go away on its own if it’s a very minor and temporary issue. Although, if you have been living with TMJ pain for a while, it will not go away without medical intervention.
Why Does My Jaw Make Noise?
A jaw popping or clicking when opening or closing is one of the first signs of TMJ. The sound can occur every time you reposition your jaw, or in at irregular times. This sound comes from the ligament between two bones dislocating and hitting on or around the jaw bone. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing this, as it is not good for your oral and overall health.
Schedule a Consultation with our Dentist in Charlotte, NC
Do you have frequent jaw or facial pain? You may have a TMJ disorder. Call Dentistry of the Queen City in Mallard Creek at 704-486-8911 or request a consultation on our website. Dr. Reece will work with you to find the best solution to your TMJ disorder symptoms.