DENTAL SERVICES FOR EVERY NEED
The health of the unseen support system for your smile is just as important as the wellbeing of your teeth and gums. Your TMJs (temporomandibular joints – or jaw joints) provide you with the ability to open and close your mouth and to move your jaw from side to side. Poorly functioning joints that suffer from damage or stress may result in widespread discomfort and daily challenges. We offer TMJ therapy to guide you back toward comfort and improved function, while protecting your entire oral system from long-term damage.
TMD is short for TMJ disorder, a problem that occurs when your jaw joints malfunction. TMD does not affect every patient in the same manner, or stem from identical underlying causes. Poor function and discomfort may be caused by physical damage, or stress due to misalignment or teeth grinding. Decide if you might benefit from TMJ therapy by consider the following common symptoms:
- Your jaw occasionally locks when you open or close your mouth.
- Chewing or speaking is sometimes uncomfortable.
- You suffer from pain, tenderness, or soreness in your jaw joints or surrounding areas, including your face, ears, neck, or shoulders.
- You hear a clicking, popping, or grinding sound when you open or close your mouth or while chewing.
- You have difficulty opening your mouth all the way.
About TMJ Therapy
Relieving stress placed on your jaw joints is essential for allowing your TMJs and surrounding supportive structures to heal. We primarily provide patients with noninvasive, comfortable oral appliance therapy. You may wear an occlusal splint, or a mouth guard that gently realigns or cushions your bite while you sleep, to give your jaw joints time to rest. For patients with bite concerns, we may suggest traditional braces or Invisalign to improve alignment, or dental prosthetics to replace missing teeth causing a bite imbalance. Severe TMD, however, may require oral surgery to make necessary bite adjustments.
Why You Need Therapy
The nerve responsible for controlling your jaw movement, called your trigeminal nerve, is also partially responsible for your sight, cognition, and for all major regions of your craniofacial structure. The trigeminal nerve consists of 70 percent of all of your cranial nerves and branches bundled into three legs. Your cranial nerves as a whole make up 80 percent of your nervous system that provides sensory information to your brain. Because your TMJs transmit pain through all three branches of the trigeminal nerve, the discomfort may be translated by your brain as not only jaw pain, but also as problems like headaches and earaches. Improving your jaw function may offer a dramatic improvement to your daily comfort, relieving jaw tension, as well as the long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms that often come with TMD.