If you are suffering from TMJ, you may have many different symptoms, from headaches to tingling fingers, jaw pain to back pain. You may have been to several doctors, trying to get relief from your symptoms, with no luck. You may be on several prescriptions to try to control the symptoms, but are making no progress alleviating them.
At Smile Columbia Dentistry, we can finally give you a positive diagnosis of the root cause of your symptoms. TMJ treatment can then reduce or eliminate your symptoms, on a long-term or even permanent basis. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. Call 803-781-9090.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ is a short way of referring to temporomandibular joint disorder. It basically refers to problems with the joint between your jaw and skull that can contribute to muscle strain, nerve irritation, and tooth problems. Read more on our What Is TMJ? Page.
Symptoms of TMJ
TMJ can be very hard to diagnose because its symptoms are wide-ranging and variable. They can include:
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Jaw pain
- Worn, chipped, or broken teeth
- Face, neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Clicking or popping jaw sounds
- Tingling in the fingers
- Ear pain, tinnitus, or ear stuffiness
It may seem impossible, but TMJ treatment can lessen or eliminate all of these symptoms and more. To understand how TMJ causes so many different symptoms, you can check out the individual symptoms pages or refer back to our What Is TMJ? Page.
TMJ Treatment Begins with Positive Diagnosis
The first step in TMJ treatment is to determine whether TMJ really is the cause of your symptoms. We will begin by listening to your descriptions of the symptoms and we will ask you some questions. We will take baseline measurements of your jaw movement, muscle tension, and jaw sounds. Then we will use TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), a kind of electric massage, to relax your muscles. This will provide you with instant relief from many TMJ symptoms, but will also allow us to analyze your jaw system without the interference of your muscles, which can work to hold your jaw in an unnatural position.
Now we will repeat measurements of your jaw movement, muscle tension, and jaw sounds. Once we have determined the extent of your TMJ, we will recommend TMJ treatment. For some people, mild TMJ requires only intermittent use of TENS to provide relief.
For more severe TMJ, we may recommend that you wear an oral splint or orthotic (sometimes called a bite splint). The orthotic will hold your jaw in the position of maximum rest, reducing muscle tension, nerve irritation, and other effects of TMJ that lead to negative symptoms.
If your TMJ is the result of or has caused excessive wear on your teeth, we may recommend dental restorations to help build your teeth back up so they can hold your jaw in place. We may recommend this initially or if an oral splint isn’t giving you relief throughout the day.
In rare cases, you may need surgery of the TMJ joint, including TMJ joint replacement.
You may have lived in Columbia, SC with TMJ symptoms for many years, but you don’t have to live with them any longer. To start your TMJ treatment, please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry today.