TMJ / TMD Therapy
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the jaw to the skull bone allowing you to smile, talk, and chew without pain or impediment. When these joints are strained or damaged, the result can be TMJ dysfunction, commonly referred to as TMD. At Katy Family dentist, we offer a variety of treatment options to relieve pain and renew the full range of jaw movement. Contact us to schedule an appointment, if you’re concerned about TMJ dysfunction.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Before we can begin treatment for TMJ dysfunction, we will need to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Our skilled dentist, Dr. Joey Hall screens for warning signs and symptoms of TMD during dental checkups. We also rely on patients to let us know if they experience any of the common warning signs of TMD including:
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
- Clicking or grinding sounds during jaw movement
- Radiating head, neck, or back pain
- Earaches or ringing in the ears
Equilibration / Occlusal Adjustments
If your bite feels unbalanced, ask our dentist to check your occlusion. Many times, a simple bite adjustment can relieve headaches, soreness during chewing, and sensitivity. Adjusting your bite is a very quick process that usually consists of eliminating less than a millimeter of tooth structure in a couple of strategic places to allow your teeth to come together in a betting fitting manner.
Similar to nightguards for bruxism, occlusal splints for TMJ sufferers are custom crafted oral appliances worn during sleep. Rather than simply placing a barrier between teeth like nightguards made for bruxism sufferers, these appliances support the jaw’s natural resting position in order to allow the bite to fit together more comfortably, as well as to reduce joint inflammation and any unnecessary nighttime jaw movements. Occlusal splints are a simple, minimally invasive treatments that offer significant relief for most patients after just a few nights of wear.
Treatment with a TENS Machine
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. That’s quite a mouthful, but the treatment itself is really rather simple. Electrical currents are passed through the jaw joints to relieve inflammation and pain as well as reducing unnecessary muscle movements that may lead to strain of the TMJ. This painless therapy has been shown to improve the function of the TMJ in just a few treatment visits. In some cases, patients can even opt to invest in TENS therapy they can use in the home.
The advanced TruDenta system is used to treat patients with TMJ dysfunction, migraines, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and vertigo. The treatment begins with a precise analysis of the jaw and facial muscles to determine the cause of the condition. Then, we combine ultrasound, trigger point manipulation, cold laser, and microcurrent treatments to reduce pain and improve functionality. Patients may need from one to twelve treatments of about an hour to achieve their desired results.