What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint is the muscle that connects your jaw to the side of your skull. This joint contains the muscles that are used to open and close your jaw, and when it becomes damaged, misaligned, or inflamed, pain and stiffness commonly develops. This is called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or TMJ syndrome. This disorder can develop from injury to the jaw, joint, or teeth, a misaligned jaw, teeth grinding, stress or even arthritis. We offer TMJ disorder treatment and have many ways to help diagnose the cause of the condition.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
- Pain around the jaw joint
- Popping and clicking sounds when using the jaw
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Lock jaw in the open or closed position
- Difficulty chewing
- Facial pain or soreness
Diagnosing TMJ Disorder
We have multiple ways to diagnose TMJ disorder and typically begin with a CT scan or full mouth x-rays of your jaw to understand how your bite and teeth are aligned. Additionally, we can graph and track the motion of your jaw and bite with EMG diagnostics, K7 jaw tracking and sonography. Once we have a better understanding of your specific TMJ disorder, we can begin treatment, which usually happens in phases depending on the severity of your case.Schedule Consultation
Initial therapy is used for less severe cases of TMJ disorder with more minimally invasive treatment options. In some cases, TMD symptoms can be relieved with simple hot/cold packs, jaw stretching exercises, pain medications or muscle relaxants. We can also perform TENS therapy, which applies low-voltage electrical currents to the TMJ muscle in order to relax it and mitigate pain. Similarly, we offer injections like BOTOX®, which help relax the muscle and prevent it from being overworked. We can also fit you with oral appliances like nightguards or splints that repositions your teeth and prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. These oral appliances are also useful for treating cases of sleep apnea.
For more extreme cases of TMJ disorder, we may need to alter your jaw or teeth to provide a more harmonious bite. We can provide orthodontic treatment to help adjust your teeth to a proper alignment so they connect correctly. Teeth that are badly damaged or not providing the proper support, may require a dental crown to be placed in order to match the bite, or even have the tooth replaced with a dental implant. The most challenging cases of TMD may need to see a chiropractor or physical therapist and may even require surgery as a last resort option.
Expertise in the TMJ Field
Our doctors have extensive experience in dealing with TMJ disorder and will do everything they can to relieve you of pain, headaches and migraines. We are members of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACFP) that focuses on TMJ related treatments and Dr. Eugene Kulaga is also a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management. Our goal is always to provide you with the most effective treatment to get you out of pain and on with your life.