Gulch Dental Studio

TMJ Treatment

Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ disorder, or TMD, is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the jaw joint.

The team of highly trained professionals at Gulch Dental Studio can treat TMD to relieve pain and improve quality of life.

Patients often don't realize how dramatically TMJ treatment can change their lives. What would your life look like without jaw pain?

The Benefits of Treating TMD

Relief

The treatment options available at Gulch Dental Studio in Nashville, TN, can relieve persistent TMD symptoms like headaches, a locked jaw, clicking when opening the mouth, and pain around the jaw joint.

Improved Quality of Life

If you've been living with TMJ issues for some time, you may not even realize how you are modifying your life because of your symptoms. Perhaps you are neglecting a healthy diet because it is difficult to chew, or you are limiting your social life because of persistent headaches. Treating your TMD can allow you to live life to the fullest.

Better Long-Term Health

Problems with the TMJ can lead to troublesome oral health issues like worn teeth, decayed teeth, or serious joint damage. Treating TMD early can prevent these risks from becoming serious.

Emily S.

Emily S.

September 2019

I had an amazing experience here. I'm new to town and called to schedule an appointment. The first available that fit my crazy work schedule was a month out, so the receptionist offered to call me if they received a cancellation. Within just a few days she had called and emailed me to offer me a new early morning appointment. We confirmed via email. The appointment was wonderful! It's a beautiful office with state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable, professional staff. The dentist is never a fun way to start the day, but they made it lovely. I'll be back in six months! View On Google

Lisa G.

Lisa G.

September 2019

After many years with my hometown dentist, I transferred to Gulch Dental Studio when my office relocated to the Gulch & have not been disappointed for nearly three years now; but, they changed my life when they suggested botox therapy for my TMJ (after my second broken crown).  One of the better decisions I have made in life!  My tension headaches have been drastically reduced and I am no longer grinding my teeth at night.  THANK YOU, Gulch Dental Studio!!! View On Google

Finger pointing at jaw joint of a skull
The temporomandibular joints are put under considerable pressure from speaking and chewing. TMD often develops when the stress becomes too much. 

What is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder? 

You have one temporomandibular joint on each side of your jaw. Damaging one or both of these joints can lead to localized and more widespread discomfort and pain. In the simplest terms, TMD occurs when the jaw joints become inflamed. This can happen for a number of reasons, including: 

  • Misalignment
  • Injury
  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Disk erosion
  • Arthritis 

TMD Is Often Tied to Inflammation in the Jaw Joint

Relief Is Available - Contact Us Today!

our office
Our office

At Gulch Dental Studio in downtown Nashville, TN, we offer relief for patients suffering from TMD. We see great results in addressing TMJ issues by providing:

  • Custom night guards that prevent teeth grinding
  • Therapy using BOTOX® Cosmetic to relax the jaw muscles

If you are suffering from TMJ problems, come see how we can help at our innovative and comfortable studio. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us online or calling (615) 334-0184.

Contact Us

How Do I Know if I Have TMD?

You may be suffering from TMJ disorder if you are experiencing: 

  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Migraine-like headaches
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  • Pain in and around your ear
  • Stiff or tight neck muscles
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw 

Many patients also experience a grating sensation or hear a popping sound when chewing or opening their mouth. Left untreated, these symptoms can have negative effects on your quality of life, including persistent jaw discomfort, sleep impairment, and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. TMJ disorder can also lead to orthodontic complications that cause long-term damage.

Because these symptoms are not exclusive to TMJ problems, it is important to seek diagnosis from experts in temporomandibular joints.

What Causes TMD?

Some common risk factors for TMD include:

Bruxism

One of the most common causes of stress on the temporomandibular joints is bruxism. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a very common condition that causes tension and places pressure on your jaw muscles and tissues. It can be attributed to stress, anxiety, or a misaligned bite.

Misalignment

When the teeth are not properly aligned, the bite can become uneven, putting unnatural stress on the temporomandibular joints. Either of the TMJs can deteriorate or become inflamed as they move out of the optimal position to compensate for crooked teeth.

Poor Posture

If the posture of your back or neck is typically hunched, it can put stress on on your jaw muscles. Training your body to stand straighter through physical therapy or other methods may relieve the pressure on the temporomandibular joint and lead to reduced chronic pain.

Let's take a look at how a misaligned bite can cause TMJ disorder:

illustration of TMJ disorder
Katye H.

Katye H.

August 2019

Dr. Harris was fantastic. The office is gorgeous, my appointment was on time, efficient and enjoyable. I suffer from TMJ and Dr. Harris helped me drastically reduce the pain with Botox (can you believe it?). I would recommend him to friends and family! View On Google

Meredith A.

Meredith A.

July 2019

Amazing experience. Staff is super friendly and the space is beautiful. Have already recommended 2-3 people and will continue to do so. Can honestly say I've never enjoyed being at the dentist before this experience. View On Google

How Can TMD Be Treated?

At Gulch Dental Studio in Nashville, TN, we offer two treatments for TMJ disorder. The treatment that is right for you will depend on the cause and stage of your condition. In cases where our doctors are not able to help you develop an effective treatment plan, we can refer you to a specialist.

Night guard

Custom Night Guards

To help our patients suffering from bruxism, we provide custom night guards that you can wear while sleeping. These night guards are designed specifically to fit snugly around your teeth. Ensuring a proper fit is of the utmost importance as it will protect your teeth from the harmful effects of teeth grinding, as well as provide cushioning for your jaw muscles. To create an appliance personalized to your smile, we will need to take an impression which will be sent to our trusted dental lab. 

Botox

BOTOX Cosmetic

Muscle relaxants are a common and effective treatment for TMJ issues. At our office, we proudly offer BOTOX Cosmetic to help relax the muscles around the jaw joints. Relaxing these muscles prevents them from clenching, grinding, and creating tension. This can provide relief from jaw pain and headaches. Our doctors can inject BOTOX in our office during one quick appointment. Patients may begin to feel muscle tenderness disappear almost immediately.

Our Doctors Are Here for You

In our luxurious and modern dental studio in Nashville, TN, our doctors provide customized treatment options for TMJ problems that have helped many patients find relief. If you believe you are experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms, contact us online or call (615) 334-0184 to schedule a consultation.

Woman holding jaw in pain

Am I a Candidate for Treatment?

You may need treatment if you: 

Know You Grind Your Teeth

Some people don't realize that they grind their teeth through the night. However, if you are aware of this issue, you should acquire a night guard from a reputable dentist to reduce the risk of TMD or damaged teeth.

Are Living in Pain

TMJ issues can cause chronic pain in the head, jaws, mouth, and neck. No one should go through life always in pain, especially when treatment is available that can help.

Can't Open Your Jaw

Perhaps the most recognizable symptom of TMD is the inability to fully open your mouth. This can become a very serious problem if it is not addressed.

TMJ Timeline

When you come to our Nashville office for a TMJ consultation, you can expect roughly the following timeline:

Step 1: Initial Consultation

Our dentists will ask about your symptoms, review your medical history, and examine your bite.

Step 2: X-Rays

The dentist will take x-rays of your jaw to get a closer look at the temporomandibular joint and determine if the TMJ is indeed the cause of your symptoms.

Step 3: Treatment

If the x-rays reveal problems with your TMJ, our dentist will recommend a treatment plan. Among the options available at our practice are BOTOX Cosmetic therapy and custom night guards. If your specific case requires a different treatment option, such as orthodontic work or surgery, we can refer you to a specialist.

Step 4: Follow-Up 

At Gulch Dental Studio, we care about our patients and don't want to see them in pain. After we set you up on a treatment plan, we will want to know if it's working. We will schedule a follow-up appointment to assess your progress and you can expect us to check on you to make sure your symptoms are fading.

Rachel N.

Rachel N.

July 2019

I've been seeing Dr. Harris at Gulch Dental Studio for about 1.5 years, and I've had nothing but positive experiences. For many years, I've had a problem with excessive grinding of my teeth at night that has caused damage to my teeth and a lot of TMJ pain in my jaw. Despite wearing a specially made mouth guard every night, I regularly woke up grinding my teeth and in pain throughout the night. Dr. Harris was the first dentist who ever recommended Botox injections in my jaw to weaken the muscles and train my jaw to stop grinding so much over time. I had my first round of injections a little over a month ago, and I literally could barely feel the needles. 

The injections have already made a tremendous difference. I am sleeping so much better, and I am rarely waking up grinding my teeth. I no longer wake up with a deep pain in my jaw and molars. When I open my mouth now, there is no longer a painful clicking from the TMJ. I highly recommend trying out Botox injections for anyone who suffers from TMJ!!! This has been a life changer for me and something that I will continue doing long-term.

I also wanted to give a shout-out to Dr. Harris, who has always treated me compassionately and wanted the best care for me. He is very aware of not causing pain, and he has even followed up to see how I'm doing afterward. He has a very positive attitude and is dedicated to making your experience the best it can possibly be. This is my favorite dental studio I've ever used. View On Google

Taylor F.

Taylor F.

October 2019

Dr. Harris and staff were great, as always! They’re accommodating, consistent, and professional.
View On Google

Physical Therapy to Treat TMD

In some cases, certain physical therapy practices can relieve the symptoms of TMD. While physical therapy alone cannot address serious orthodontic or dental issues that contribute to TMD, it can offer relief from episodes of discomfort. For example, when the TMJ is causing particularly harsh pain, we recommend:

Applying ice or heat to the jaw muscle to reduce pain and inflammation

Massaging jaw joints and muscles to ease tension and allow them to relax

Eating soft foods to avoid putting too much strain on the TMJs

When you come in for a consultation at our office, we can determine if physical therapy exercises in addition to dental TMJ treatment will be beneficial to you.

Botox injections
BOTOX injections is often recommended to relax overactive jaw muscles. 

Isn't BOTOX a Cosmetic Treatment?

Some patients are surprised when we recommend using BOTOX Cosmetic as a treatment for TMJ-related problems. It is true that BOTOX is best known as a cosmetic treatment, but it produces its cosmetic results by working as a muscle relaxer. When it relaxes facial muscles, it can reduce wrinkles. When applied to the TMJs, it can loosen up the muscle and alleviate pain and tightness. Treating TMJ disorder with BOTOX is low-risk and widely accepted among the dental community.

Gulch Dental Studio

Gulch Dental Studio Team
The Gulch Dental Studio Team

Gulch Dental Studio is a state-of-the-art practice utilizing the latest technology and techniques to enhance your smile. We offer a range of services including:

Book an appointment by scheduling a consultation online, or call our Nashville office at (615) 334-0184 today.

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Nashville Office

224 11th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

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