TMJ Treatment and Bruxism

There are several factors that can lead to jaw pain, and each patient is unique. However, in most cases, treatment options for TMJ will focus around restoring a healthy and comfortable bite.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Your temporomandibular joints are located on both sides of your face, just in front of your ears. The TMJs are where your jaw connects to your skull and assists in movements like chewing and speaking.  

TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder and involves dysfunction of the TMJ. TMJ dysfunction happens when the muscles and ligaments around your jaw joints become inflamed or irritated. 

TMJ dysfunction is most common in those 20 to 40 years of age and is more common in women than in men. 

Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain

  • Earaches

  • Pain in the neck or shoulders

  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide

  • Jaws that "lock" in the open or closed-mouth position

  • Clicking

  • Popping or grinding sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing your mouth

  • A tired feeling in your face

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Tinnitus or ringing in your ears

  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together

  • Swelling on the side of your face

  • Tooth pain

How is TMJ Diagnosed

TMJ dysfunction is usually diagnosed during a dental checkup. We do the following to diagnose a patient:

  • We look for limited or maximum opening

  • Palpate the areas around the TMJ

  • Take X-rays such as a panoramic and CBCT scans

This helps us determine what measures must be taken to correct the problem.

Night Guards for TMJ

At Gentle Dental, we provide different options for dealing with temporomandibular joint disorder when they arise, such as fabrication of a night guard. 

A custom mouth guard can help to alleviate jaw pain caused by teeth clenching or grinding at night. Clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause soreness and aching in the short term and eventually lead to long term damage of the temporomandibular joint.

A night guard for TMJ should be custom made to fit your mouth precisely. While over the counter guards can provide some protection against grinding, only a custom dental mouth guard can create a comfortable relationship between your bite, your muscles and joints.

Invisalign for TMJ

A major risk factor for developing temporomandibular joint disorder is improper tooth alignment. While a night guard can help to correct your bite while you sleep, you may also want to consider a more permanent solution. At Gentle Dental, we specialize in Invisalign treatments, including the use of Invisalign for TMJ.

Invisalign can correct a variety of alignment problems associated with TMJ, including overbite, underbite and crossbite. Fixing these will lower the amount of stress placed on your temporomandibular joint, significantly reducing or even eliminating the painful symptoms of the disorder.

Botox for TMJ

We’re known for using the latest dental technology and administering the most innovative treatments available.  For patients with extreme TMJ disease, Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) can be used to alleviate TMJ by reducing the force muscle exerted on the jaw.

If you suffer from severe pain and discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint disorder, be sure to ask our clinic staff whether or not Botox may be right for you.

Botox is a safe and effective way to treat TMJ. It works by alleviating jaw tension and unclenching the muscles of your temporomandibular joint.

Testimonials

Diane

dark blue quote"I've been going to Gentle Dental for years now. I've had cleanings, exams, fillings, crowns, and even an implant done and I couldn't be more pleased. Not only is the work beautifully done, but there is an atmosphere of cooperation between staff and a genuine effort to help a patient feel comfortable."

Boyd

dark blue quote"Before Dr. White put a crown on my front tooth, I felt uncertain when smiling, especially when taking pictures. But now, I feel confident that I have a great smile. The whole process of getting the crown was quick, relatively painless and the color turned out great! I highly recommend Dr. White for all your dental needs. At Gentle Dental, all of the team are friendly, helpful and GENTLE!"

Nicholoff family

dark blue quote"Dr. White and the professionals at Gentle Dental see to my personal preferences and have truly gotten to know me--I can’t express how kind and caring everyone is. My children have special dental needs and Dr. White has seen to treating all of them with attention to detail and personal care, using tools and products that have proven results. I cannot express the gratitude I feel to Dr. White and the Gentle Dental team, they have come to know us like a family and I am so thankful for that!"