Relieve pain and restore healthy function with treatment for TMJ disorder in Greenville, SC
You’ve come to the right place for relief from neck or shoulder pain, and chronic tension headaches and migraines. These and an array of other disruptive or debilitating conditions are symptomatic of problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). You have two temporomandibular joints – one on each side of your head, in front of your ears. These joints are designed to work in harmony with a system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bone. Yet, as with all systems, something can go wrong. Since TMJ behaves like a sliding hinge to facilitate many important functions – from chewing to speech – when they’re dysfunctional, you’ll certainly know it! Discomfort arises and the motions that you took for granted are compromised.
As experts in oral anatomy, the professionals at Palmer Distinctive Dentistry are equipped to offer effective treatment for TMJ disorder in Greenville SC. Treatments vary widely from patient to patient, due to the nature of TMJ Disorder (TMD). Evaluating your unique concerns is the start, and helps Drs. John Palmer, Daniel Knause, and Debra Adams identify treatments tailored to your needs. You dentist may take many different approaches to relieve your symptoms and address the underlying cause.
In addition to the pain described above, many of the TMD patients that Palmer Distinctive Dentistry treats experience symptoms such as:
- Problems opening or closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping sounds when chewing or moving the mouth
- Stiffness or the jaws locking
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Teeth grinding and teeth clenching
- Excessive wear on the teeth
- Changes with how the upper and lower teeth fit together when biting down
Since TMD is rooted in the oral cavity and many of these symptoms are related to your mouth and teeth, dentists who are experienced in working with these disorders, like Drs. Palmer, Knause, and Adams, are often on the front-lines of identifying and treating these conditions. The severity of symptoms varies dramatically from patient to patient. Even a single patient can experience dramatic changes in the severity of their symptoms over time; for instance, a patient with formerly minor discomfort may encounter debilitating pain and functional challenges over time without appropriate treatment.
While there is still much to know about TMD, generally, problems arise when the small, shock-absorbing discs that separate the bones in the joint shift out of alignment or when the cartilage covering these bones (or the joint itself) is damaged. These changes interfere with the interaction among the bones in the joint that allow smooth jaw motions.
This type of erosion, damage, and trauma has been linked to several conditions, including:
- Bite-related issues
- Jaw dislocation or other injuries
Conditions that cause the muscles to tighten, such as stress, are thought to make existing symptoms of TMD worse.
Real relief at the dentist’s office
You don’t have to undergo risky or expensive surgical procedures to resolve TMD problems that negatively affect the quality of your life. With an accurate diagnosis in hand and a complete picture of the true nature of your symptoms, the doctors at Palmer Distinctive Dentistry may recommend one or a mix of the following approaches, depending on your specific needs for treatment:
- Oral appliance therapy – Devices customized to your mouth help you gain and maintain the proper alignment. Appliances may include oral splints or bite guards. The dental team can also discuss orthodontic treatments that restore contact between upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed.
- Relaxation techniques – Stress reduction that consciously slows your breathing, helps to relax tense muscles, and reduces pain.
- Physical therapy – Exercises stretch and strengthen muscles in the jaw. These muscles may benefit from massage techniques.
- Ultrasound and low-level laser therapies – Devices that generate therapeutic energy and heat precisely relieve joint soreness, ease inflammation, and enhance mobility.
Many of the above techniques and technologies don’t simply mask the problem, they can reduce a patient’s reliance on pain medications. Find out more about these and other approaches to TMD treatment. Call (864) 332-4113 to schedule your appointment at Palmer Distinctive Dentistry in Greenville, SC.