TMJ Treatment in Cleveland, TN

Have you ever woken up with pain or clicking in your jaw, an earache that wasn’t an infection, or difficulty opening or closing your mouth? If so, you may be one of the 5-12% of adults who experience TMJ dysfunction. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the connecting point between your lower jaw and skull. This joint helps move our jaw up and down, allowing us to speak and chew. If you’ve ever felt soreness or tenderness in your jaw muscles, you may need TMJ treatment.

TMJ Treatment in Cleveland, TN - Center for Cosmetic Dentistry - Dr. Kenneth BeardSymptoms of TMD

There are many symptoms of TMJ dysfunction (TMD). If you experience any of the following, you should call our office to schedule a free consultation.

  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Difficulty opening or closing your jaw
  • Face, shoulder, or neck pain
  • Earaches or toothaches
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • A change in your teeth’s alignment

If TMD symptoms are not addressed, they can limit your chewing function, damage your teeth (even leading to tooth loss), and cause chronic pain.

What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?

There is rarely just one cause of TMD. It’s almost always a combination of factors, such as:

  • Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • Arthritis in your jaw
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Jaw injury
  • Misalignment of the upper and lower teeth (malocclusion)

There are also certain habits or lifestyle choices that can worsen TMD. Chewing on fingernails, pen caps, and ice cubes, or even using your teeth to open packaging, can put extra stress on your jaw area. Additionally, if you grind your teeth during the day or take large bites of food, you can unintentionally overwork your jaw muscles. Even poor posture throughout the day can strain your neck, shoulder, and facial muscles, aggravating your TMD symptoms.

TMJ Dysfunction Treatment Options

There are several ways to treat TMJ dysfunction, but the option that works for you will depend on your symptoms and primary causes. At The Mini Dental Implant Center of America in Cleveland, TN, we prioritize patient comfort and care. To begin, we’ll try noninvasive options, only using more complex treatments if your symptoms don’t improve.

  1. Medication: Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can mitigate certain TM symptoms. Tylenol® or ibuprofen can help relieve pain, and for teeth grinding and clenching, our office may prescribe muscle relaxers and antidepressants.
  2. Nonsurgical TMJ treatments: One noninvasive method for alleviating TMD is wearing a mouthguard to address nighttime grinding. Our practice offers custom Under Armour® mouthguards and oral sleep apnea appliances that can be tailored to your specific needs, providing comfort and effective relief. Other treatment options to explore include physical therapy, ultrasound therapy, or trigger point injections. On the other hand, simply making behavioral changes like improving your posture can also make a difference.
  3. Surgical TMJ treatment: We may recommend surgery if noninvasive treatments aren’t sufficient in treating your TMD.

Preventing TMD

While TMJ dysfunction cannot always be prevented, certain measures can mitigate your risk or reduce the severity of your symptoms. If you grind your teeth or play sports, we can craft a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw. Additionally, meditation, yoga, and stretching can help reduce stress, relax the muscles, and promote good posture—all of which can lessen the impact of TMD.

Schedule Your TMJ Treatment Today

TMJ dysfunction can be a painful issue, but it doesn’t have to control your quality of life. Seeking timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help you manage symptoms and regain comfort in your daily activities. If you’re experiencing pain or tightness in your jaw, contact The Mini Dental Implant Center of America in Cleveland, TN, to schedule an appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, while TMD is the disorder caused by damage or stress to the joint. While TMJ is part of human anatomy, not everyone will suffer from TMD.

Occasionally, TMJ dysfunction may resolve naturally within a week or two. However, in more severe instances, it can persist for several months or even years. That’s why it’s important to determine the causes of TMD as soon as possible.

Yes, TMD can be successfully treated with the right approach. However, because TMD can have a variety of causes and symptoms, it’s essential to get a thorough evaluation from an experienced dentist. This ensures that the treatment plan is tailored to meet your individual needs.