TMJ / TMD Therapy Takes Care of Chronic Jaw Pain in Brick
Those small joints located in front of your ears are actually called the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, and they are what allow your jaw to move smoothly whenever you are eating, speaking, laughing, or yawning. Whether due to stress, injury, or a misalignment of the bite, this joint can sometimes develop what is called a TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This typically has symptoms like a stiff and painful jaw, migraine headaches, and unconscious teeth grinding to name a few. Dr. Ruiz and Dr. Fan can actually diagnose and treat these kinds of issues right here in our Brick office, so if you are ready to get rid of chronic pain, contact us today.
If your TMD is due to a misalignment of the bite, one way we can fix it is with an occlusal adjustment. First, our team will determine the current alignment of your bite, and then we will gently reshape a few key teeth so that they come together correctly. This will allow the joint and adjoining muscles to rest and relax, which should help relieve any TMD-associated pain. We typically only need to remove a few millimeters of enamel to accomplish this, so this procedure really does not affect the appearance of the teeth.
Another way we can treat TMD is with an occlusal splint, which is a custom-made orthopedic mouthpiece that gently repositions the jaw. The splint will place it into a more natural and comfortable orientation to relieve the muscle tension caused by TMD. It can also help protect the teeth from unconscious grinding. A patient will only need to wear it to bed, and many are able to stop wearing the device after just a few months of use (although some patients need to continue wearing it to keep seeing results).