Treatment for TMJ / TMD and jaw pain often involves conservative therapy with use of oral orthotics or “splints/Nightgurads.” In our office, day use splints are usually fabricated to be worn on the bottom teeth to make it more comfortable, less noticeable and easier to speak with it in. We generally prescribe a separate splint for night time use which is worn on the upper teeth

What is TMJ/TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), commonly referred to as “TMJ”, are quite common.

Women of child bearing years are the most affected, but temporomandibular disorders can affect men, woman, and children of all ages. The most common clinical symptoms of temporomandibular disorders include:

  • Pain in the jaw joint and surrounding structures
  • Pain in the face
  • Headache
  • Popping or clicking in the jaw joints
  • A crunching sound in the jaw joints
  • Restricted opening
  • Catching or locking of the jaw
  • Pain when chewing
  • Ear pain without actual ear infection
  • A congested feeling in the ears
  • Ringing in the ears

Each patient is different and the number, intensity and frequency of TMD symptoms each patient presents with is unique.

Obviously, many of the above symptoms are not specific to temporomandibular disorders. Our dentist works closely with your doctor, and other members of the medical/dental community to make sure that the most accurate diagnosis possible for your TMD is made.

Are my Symptoms from TMJ?

Craniofacial pain can include:

  • Popping/clicking jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Muscular/facial pain
  • Nerve disorders
  • Referred ear pain, fullness, or ringing
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches

Many times headaches and even migraines have a craniofacial pain component, or are completely craniofacial pain related.

We have treated numerous patients who thought they had migraine type headaches, who actually had a muscular (or tension type) headache, usually due to clenching of their teeth.

Here are some clues that your migraine; may not be a true migraine at all:

  • Often have daily headaches
  • Often wake with a headache
  • Migraine medications like Zomig and Imitrex don’t “abort” the headache
  • Advil or Excedrin help your headaches
  • You are aware of clenching your teeth or have been told that you do
  • Your headaches are usually in your temples, behind your eyes or in the back of your head

A dental appliance called the NTI-TSS is approved by the FDA for use in the prophylactic treatment of medically diagnosed migraine pain as well as migraine associated tension type headaches.

Our dentist has personally treated many patients with this appliance to successfully reduce or eliminate their headaches, even when other medical treatments had failed.

If you feel you suffer from TMD, please call our office today to schedule a consultation.