TMJ is really kind of one of the more difficult things to diagnose and figure out exactly why is it that patient would have pain in their jaw. There's so many reasons. It can be tooth-related, it can be not tooth-related. It can be just the way you are, just the way your bones integrate up there. It can be that you have more of a muscular type deal, where it's sending referred pain to that area. For us, it's really about finding out what's causing the pain and trying out different non-invasive things to see if we're on the right track. If we're not sure if orthodontics or Invisalign will be helpful for you, we can create little retainers that you'll wear that kind of are acting like Invisalign and sit in a position where I think your teeth will finish. We create those at the office, and you can wear those for a week or two, and if your headaches and your TMJ issues slowly start to go away, we know that we're on the right track, and we can do a round of orthodontic service, whether it's with me or with an orthodontist, and kind of alleviate in that way.
If it's something that we're not quite sure why clicking and popping, there are options out there where patients can talk to specialists about it. There's some really good specialists. If it's a clenching or grinding issue where you clenched and grind for a long time, and now you don't have as much tooth structure as you did because you wore your teeth flat or you wore them down, then we can do night guards, we can do some different devices to see, okay, if this stops the pain, we know we're on the right track with how to treat it, because we can build your teeth back up and put you in a night guard. For me it's more about diagnosing the reason why or what's going to be the best way to gt to where you need to go as the patient.
So, what are your options?
What most people do not know is that a qualified dentist can treat your headaches, migraines, and constant jaw pains with noninvasive treatments. Jaw soreness or headaches commonly stem from an issue with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). We call this temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. The TMJ is the hinge responsible for opening and closing the mouth, which means it’s at work every single time you speak, chew, laugh, or drink.
Patients with TMJ issues often experience tenderness in the jaw, neck, or head; locking, popping, or clicking of the jaw; restricted jaw movement; dizziness; changes in their bite; and even ringing or soreness in their ears.
What Causes TMJ Pain?
Between 5 to 15 percent of the population have TMJ issues. In some cases, we can’t pinpoint a cause of TMD, but we do know about several contributing factors. TMJ issues can be caused by:
Effective TMJ Treatments
At Oregon Smile Care Center, we have studied every known cause of TMD and work to create comfortable and affordable solutions. We commonly use night guards, splints, and day guards for patients who have a habit or teeth grinding or clenching their teeth. Our migraine and headache solutions include joint relocation, massage therapy, and even full-mouth reconstructions. With massage therapy and exercise practices, we can help relieve your constant headaches, but we often need to coordinate more advanced procedures.
We also use a daytime TMJ appliance that you’ll remove only for eating and cleaning. These appliances place the jaw in a more appropriate position to eliminate the strain on its muscles and tendons. In some cases, the daytime TMJ oral appliance can be the first phase of treatment before we suggest orthodontics. If the bite or jaw placement is the root of your TMJ problems or headaches and migraines, we’ll work with a qualified orthodontist to straighten your teeth and correct your bite. This process is much more involved and expensive, but you acheive two great outcomes: a beautiful, straight smile and no more pain! Think about what you’ll gain before discarding a treatment because of the cost.
TMJ problems are hard to ignore and can profoundly disrupt your everyday life! Don’t suffer from headaches or jaw pain any longer. Call our office today at 503-837-2718 for relief, or use the online form to schedule a TMJ treatment and Teeth Grinding treatment Salem, OR area appointment.