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TMJ/TMD Therapy: The Solution to Your Chronic Pain

Woman holding jaw in painDo you:

  • Unconsciously grind your teeth?
  • Have a stiff or sore jaw?
  • Suffer from frequent headaches/migraines?
  • Consistently get earaches?
  • Have a jaw that constantly pops, clicks, or become “stuck”?

If any of these sound familiar, they could all be caused by a strained or injured TMJ or temporomandibular joint.

This is the small set of hinges on your jaw that allows it to move freely whenever you speak or eat. Problems associated with this joint are called TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorders. They can cause a wide array of dental and overall health problems, but fortunately, Dr. Ben, Dr. Stacey, and our team are qualified to both diagnose and treat them right here at Knutzen Family Dentistry.

Dentist looking at dental x-rays and patient chart

Diagnosis & Treatment

As part of your regular checkup, Dr. Ben or Dr. Stacey will examine the health of your TMJ. They’ll test your range of motion and look for signs that you grind your teeth. If you show any signs of a TMD, they can prescribe a number of treatments that can help relieve your pain. They may be as simple as doing a few stretches throughout the day, or they may choose to use something a little more involved, which you can learn about right below.

Model of skull and jawbone

Equilibration / Occlusal Adjustments

If your TMJ is slightly misaligned, this can often cause the teeth to come together incorrectly and put tremendous amounts of pressure on very concentrated areas of enamel. This can be very painful, and it can even wear down the teeth and cause them to break. An equilibration/occlusal adjustment, however, can easily fix this.

For this procedure, Dr. Ben or Dr. Stacey will take an impression of your teeth and use it to find your particular pressure spots. They’ll then gently reshape the teeth in those areas so that they come together smoothly and pain-free.

Hand holding custom occlusal splint

Occlusal Splints

An occlusal splint is a small mouthpiece that a patient wears to bed every night. It works by slightly repositioning the jaw so that the strained muscles surrounding the TMJ can relax and naturally reorient themselves into a more comfortable position. It also helps provide a protective barrier between the teeth for those who grind them. Eventually, the muscles should be able to find this new position on their own, and a patient will be able to stop wearing the splint.

Most people suffering from a TMD have never heard of it before, so they simply endure chronic pain every day for years at a time. If your jaw consistently feels stiff, sore, or if you constantly get headaches or earaches, treating your TMJ could finally be the solution to your problems.

If you’ve been dealing with any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned on this page, be sure to contact our office today so we can help you get the relief you deserve.