The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the spot where your jaw connects to your skull to allow you to open and close your jaw easily. Sometimes the joint is injured or damaged, leading to a painful condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD). If you are experiencing pain or hearing noises when you move your jaw, schedule a consultation to determine if you have TMD. At Stone Lake Dental in Wichita Falls, TX, our experienced dentists use advanced equipment to diagnose and treat your TMD to relieve painful symptoms. Your treatment will be based on the cause of your TMD and your specific condition, but some options include oral appliances (mouth or night guards), bite adjustment, dental restorations, and more.
TMD may be caused by a single injury to the jaw, chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis or a tumor in the TMJ. In some cases, the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you are experiencing symptoms, we can still diagnose and treat your jaw. Some of the most common symptoms of TMD are pain or tenderness in the temporomandibular joint, spasms in your facial muscles, feeling like your jaw is stiff or stuck, and headaches that start in front of your ears. Another symptom is hearing cracking, clicking, or popping whenever you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To help diagnose TMD, your Stone Lake Dental dentist will carefully listen and understand your concerns before performing a physical examination. During the exam, they will assess the movement of your jaw and look for signs of misalignment, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding. They will also feel the jaw and surrounding area for any tenderness and inflammation. Digital x-rays of your lower face or a bite analysis may be needed to look for underlying causes that may determine your treatment method. Based on the exam, your treatment options will be determined, and they may include a dental appliance, orthodontics, or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with procedures to solve the underlying cause of your TMD, our dental team can recommend other ways to relieve pain and other symptoms at home. This includes eating softer foods, avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails, heat packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. We can also give you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medicine to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, anxiety, or inflammation).
Continue to attend follow-up visits so we can check the progress of your TMJ therapy. If your treatment is not helping, we may consider a different approach. Once your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule annual dental exams at Stone Lake Dental to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance coverage for TMJ pain diagnosis and TMD treatments will vary so we will contact your carrier to calculate your out-of-pocket costs. Whether you have dental insurance or not, a member of our team will go over cost estimates when reviewing treatment options. To help make all treatments affordable, Stone Lake Dental accepts many payment methods and we can help you find low-interest medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) makes it difficult to chew, speak, and enjoy your life. Since there are many possible causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), schedule a consultation at our office in Wichita Falls, TX. We will give you a thorough examination before making a diagnosis and discussing treatment options. Contact the team at Stone Lake Dental to get more information and schedule your appointment.