Ballantyne Center for Dentistry
15105 John J. Delaney Dr., Suite K Charlotte NC 28277 (704) 274-2992

 (704) 274-2992

Relief from TMJ Pain

Do you wake with a clenched, aching jaw or headache? If symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder are causing significant discomfort and inhibiting your daily lifestyle, we can help. The Ballantyne Center for Dentistry uses innovative technology to provide diagnosis and treatment for a range of oral health concerns, including TMJ disorder, at our Charlotte dental practice. TMJ treatment can vary from provider to provider.  But, we offer a comprehensive approach to this disorder and a protocol that uses the latest in technology for diagnosis. Treatment of TMJ disorder is nothing to put off. Seek treatment as soon as possible in order to avoid expensive surgery and damage that can be caused after years of dealing with this problem.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

The TMJ is a complex joint, and attaches the jaw to the temporal skull bones with ligaments and powerful muscles. It allows you to chew food and talk by opening and closing the jaw. Many factors can cause or exacerbate inflammation in the joint, but most dentists agree that it often arises from a misalignment of the bite surface of your teeth or jaw. Additional sources may include accidental injury to the joint, such as from whiplash or a blow to the head or neck from a car wreck or fall, or some form of arthritis or other inflammatory disease response. Even in advanced cases though, we can often provide you with relief.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

The symptoms of TMJ disorder vary depending on the severity of the underlying issue. Normally, if the joint becomes inflamed, it can cause discomfort when you bite or chew, clicking and popping sounds, or difficulty opening the jaw. It may also cause pain or tenderness in the jaw or an aching pain around your ear. In fact, the pain can actually extend down to your neck and shoulders, and around your face as well. The pain and discomfort may be so great that they create headaches and even trigger migraines.

How We Can Help

To achieve the highest success rates in treating TMJ disorder, we use the latest forms of digital x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and computer software to pinpoint the exact location of the problem. Using this information, we can create custom-made oral appliances and mouth guards to help relieve pressure, ease symptoms, and keep you from grinding your teeth at night. We can also assess your bite by utilizing sophisticated equipment such as the Tekscan® system.

During your initial consultation, we will sit down with you, evaluate your health condition, and discuss your treatment options with you. It is our pleasure to improve the quality of your life, and you will never feel rushed.

Learn More About Your Treatment Options

Don’t let the pain of TMJ disorder stand in the way of enjoying every single day. Contact us today to find out more about treatment that can help lessen your pain and discomfort.

We also offer a full scope of general dentistry, cosmetic and restorative dentistry services, drill-free dental procedures and sedation dentistry. From porcelain veneers to dentures, and everything in between, we have the advanced skills you need at a price you can afford.

Frequently Asked Questions about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ Treatment in Charlotte, NCWhere is the TMJ located?

You have two temporomandibular joints on either side of your head, in the area in front of your ears.

Why am I experiencing TMJ pain?

TMJ pain can occur when the joint is injured or damaged. This can happen because of arthritis, stress, teeth grinding (bruxism), a misaligned jaw or bite, poor posture and other factors. Sometimes TMJ pain is actually myofacial pain in the muscles of the face or jaws. It is important to see a dentist right away if you are experiencing TMJ pain for more than a few days in a row, sporadically or for months at a time.

Does TMJ disorder cause ear pain?

Some cases of TMJ disorder do cause pain and discomfort around the ear, because the joint is located right in front of the ear. This can be a dull throb or a sharp pain.

What TMJ treatments do you offer?

The treatment of TMJ depends on what caused the injury or damage, and how severe the problem is. The most conservative treatments include taking over-the-counter pain medications and muscle relaxers. Other solutions can include physical therapy, oral splints or mouth guards. Orthodontics can help move the teeth into the proper position to improve the bite. Stress management counseling can also be helpful. Sometimes acupuncture, biofeedback and other alternative medicine techniques are recommended. Correctly diagnosing TMJ disorders has been problematic for dentists in the past. However, newer and more accurate technology enables us to clearly define what the problem might be and just how to treat your pain.

Are there any TMJ exercises that can help?

Yes, in some cases we recommend physical therapy and exercises to stretch and strengthen the jaw muscles. These exercises are prescribed and supervised by a specialist.

Do I need TMJ surgery?

The most serious cases of TMJ disorder may necessitate surgical treatment to repair damaged tissue.

How long does TMJ treatment take?

Treatment is different for everyone. Your treatment timeline depends on the specific treatment prescribed. It could take a few weeks or a few months to do what needs to be done. Regardless, you should experience relief from painful symptoms rather quickly, while we work on treating the underlying cause.

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder?

TMJ FAQ Charlotte, NCYou should contact our team of dentists and schedule an appointment for us to examine your mouth and jaw.

Can TMJ disorder go away on its own?

No, true TMJ disorder won’t disappear on its own. It is a degenerative disease, which means that without the appropriate treatment intervention, it can progress and worsen over time. If left untreated, TMJ disorder may cause excruciating pain, tooth damage and bone and tooth loss.

Can I do anything on my own to reduce my symptoms?

Yes, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make on your own to reduce pain and symptoms:

  • follow a soft foods only diet
  • refrain from chewing gum or other sticky, chewy candies
  • apply moist heat to the jaw area for five to 10 minutes, a few times a day
  • try to relax as much as possible with yoga, meditation, exercise or deep breathing exercises

Can Botox treat TMJ?

The theory behind using Botox to treat TMJ disorder is that the injections can temporarily relax the masseter muscle and relieve some of the pain and discomfort. However, Botox injections don’t address the source of the problem, and they need to be repeated every few months to maintain the effects. Inquire about this option with our team during your consultation.

 

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