TMJ disorders involve injuries or inflammation of the temporomandibular joint of your jaw. This joint connects your jawbone to your skull and is essential in the processes of chewing and speaking. When something irritates or injures this joint, you may experience painful symptoms like jaw pain, tension headaches, earaches, and more.
Over time, these symptoms can become difficult to ignore and may cause issues within your personal and professional life. Gwaltney Dental is here to help you by offering a TMJ treatment plan customized to meet your individual needs. Learn more about our TMJ treatment plans below.
TMJ Treatment in Suffolk, VA at Gwaltney Dental
Dr. Steve Gwaltney, Dr. J.Ryland Gwaltney, and Dr. Whitney Gwaltney offer restorative dentistry treatments in Suffolk, VA. They have helped many patients relieve the painful symptoms of TMJ disorders. Our doctors understand that TMJ disorders can have debilitating effects on patients of all ages. Some signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Jaw pain
- Tension headaches
- Popping or clicking noise when you chew
- Dental damages
If you experience any of these symptoms, we are here to help you manage your TMJ disorder so that you can get back to enjoying life without these inconveniences. Your TMJ treatment plan will largely depend on the underlying cause of your pain. Patients develop TMJ disorder for many reasons. Some common causes of TMJ disorders include:
- History of teeth grinding
- Frequent jaw clenching under stress
- Misaligned bite pattern
- Missing teeth
For patients with a history of teeth grinding or frequent jaw clenching under stress, we will treat your TMJ symptoms using oral appliance therapy. This involves creating a custom mouthguard that can be worn during times of high stress, or while you are sleeping. The mouthguard will hold your jawbone in a healthy resting position and ensure that you are not putting added tension on your dental structures.
Even if you do clench your jaw together unintentionally, the mouthguard will absorb the tension instead of placing that tension directly on your jawbone.
For patients with a misaligned bite pattern, we will recommend solutions that best meet their needs. Misaligned bite patterns can be treated with Invisalign to help shift your teeth into their intended positions. This allows for better chewing and speaking patterns, which will reduce the strain on your teeth, facial muscles, and jawbone.
For patients with missing teeth, we can offer several tooth replacement solutions including dental implants to help you restore the structure of your smile. When you are missing a tooth, this adds strain to all of your dental structures. By replacing the missing tooth, you are restoring the overall functionality of your dental structures and relieving unintended additional pressure on your teeth, gums, and jawbone.
TMJ Treatment FAQs
How long does it take to correct TMJ?
The usual length of the treatment for adults ranges from 18 months to three years. Therapies like jaw massages, neck stretching, and stress-reduction activities can bring about some alleviation right away. However, it can take weeks or even months to fully experience the benefits.
What happens if TMJ doesn’t go away?
You’ll keep clenching and grinding your teeth if you don’t get therapy for TMJ. Your teeth will eventually become brittle or cracked as a result of teeth clenching and grinding. A large amount of restorative dentistry may be required to return your teeth to their prior strength and structure as a result, leading to receding gums.
Does TMJ change your face shape?
TMJ issues can gradually change the way your face looks. Loss of facial symmetry, changes in the way your teeth meet in your mouth, and a squared-off appearance of the jaw can all result from overuse of facial muscles, caused by TMJ disorder.
Can TMJ cause other health problems?
If left untreated TMJ condition can result in serious health issues, such as inflammation and chronic pain. Additionally, it can lead to bite problems, tooth degradation, and chronic illnesses like sleep apnea, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
How successful is TMJ treatment?
The success rate of TMJ treatment and surgeries has been shown to be around 70-90%.
How long does it take to recover from TMJ surgery?
After TMJ surgery it typically takes about a week to fully recover. It is important that you give yourself time to rest and recover after surgery. We recommend taking at least three days off of work to ensure that you have ample time to recover. During your recovery we will recommend that you stick to a soft diet.
What makes TMJ worse?
There are a variety of factors that can worsen TMJ. These include poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and lack of sleep. Correcting posture is a great way to reduce TMJ pain.
What is considered severe TMJ?
When your lower is stiff, or you have trouble moving it, this is a sign of severe TMJ. Another sign of severe TMJ is jaw popping or clicking. TMJ may also cause jaw misalignment.
What happens if you have TMJ for too long?
If you have TMJ and leave it untreated for too long, it may result in ringing in the ears that may impact sleep. Untreated TMJ may also result in dizziness and vertigo.
Schedule Your TMJ Treatment Consultation Today
Gwaltney Dental is your local dentist office in Suffolk, VA. We are here to help you relieve your TMJ symptoms and get back to living life without jaw pain and other painful symptoms.
Please schedule your TMJ treatment consultation online, or call us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to helping you restore the health and beauty of your smile.