Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ disorder, is a painful condition resulting from inflammation of the jaw joint. It is often due to teeth grinding or a misaligned bite. You may be suffering from this disorder if you feel clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, or experience pain when yawning. Other common symptoms include facial pain and headaches. Our highly trained dental professionals provide innovative treatment to their patients for quick, safe relief. Gulch Dental Studios in downtown Nashville, TN, provides TMJ treatment primarily through custom-designed oral appliances and BOTOX® injections.
What is 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, TMJ disorder occurs when the jaw joints become inflamed. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Poor posture
- Disk erosion
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a very common condition that causes tension and places pressure on your jaw muscles and tissues. For this reason, it is often tied to TMJ disorder. Bruxism can be attributed to stress, anxiety, rare diseases of the nerves and muscles in the face, or a misaligned bite. In cases where our doctors are not able to help you develop an effective treatment plan, we can refer you to a specialist.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
You may be suffering from TMJ disorder if you are experiencing:
- Pain or tenderness of 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 with the condition also experience a grating sensation or hear a popping sound when chewing or opening their mouth. Left untreated, these symptoms can have a negative affect on your quality of life including persistent jaw discomfort and sleep impairment, as well as pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. TMJ disorder can also lead to orthodontic complications that cause long-term damage. These symptoms are not exclusive to the disorder so it is important that one of our doctors perform a complete evaluation including x-rays to diagnose your condition.
Providing Relief with Innovative Solutions
Depending on the cause and stage of your condition, we generally offer two treatments for TMJ disorder. For those 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 your unique appliance, we will need to take an impression which will be sent to our trusted dental lab.
Our doctors provide customized TMJ treatment options that can help you quickly achieve relief.
We also offer Botox 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
Our doctors provide customized TMJ treatment options that have helped many patients find relief. If you believe you are experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms, contact us online to schedule a consultation.