TMJ Treatment Specialist

Smile Country Dental

Dentistry located in Santa Rosa, CA & Napa, CA

If you experience clicking when you open and close your mouth, frequent headaches, or clogged ears, then you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder. The team at Smile Country Dental, located in Santa Rosa and Napa, California, offers multiple options for TMJ Treatment designed to minimize and eliminate these symptoms. To schedule an initial consultation, call or use the online booking tool today.

TMJ Treatment Q & A

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is a group of conditions that affects the function of your jaw joint or temporomandibular joint (TMJ). There are three main categories of TMJ dysfunction: 

  • Myofascial pain, which is discomfort in the muscles that control your jaw 
  • Internal derangement of the joint, which is damage to the jawbone 
  • Degenerative joint disease, such as arthritis of your jaw

Common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Headaches
  • Clicking or popping of your jaw 
  • Jaw locking
  • Facial pain
  • Inability to open your mouth wide
  • Ear pain
  • Eye pain

TMJ dysfunction is a common, yet painful disorder. It ultimately affects the muscles around your jaw that enable you to chew.

What causes TMJ dysfunction?

There are multiple causes of TMJ dysfunction including:

  • Stress
  • Injury to your jaw
  • Teeth grinding
  • A “bad bite” 
  • Missing teeth
  • Unbalanced dentures
  • Old crown or bridges
  • Muscle tension that dislocates the TMJ disc
  • Crooked teeth
  • Arthritis
  • Poor posture 
  • Frequent headaches

The team at Smile Country Dental examines you to understand the cause associated with your TMJ dysfunction. They then establish personalized treatment plans that target the underlying cause of the condition. 

What treatments are available for TMJ dysfunction?

Simple treatment options for TMJ include anti-inflammatory medications and hot compresses. However, the team at Smile Country Dental understands that more complex cases of TMJ dysfunction require further intervention. These cases require a two-phase treatment plan. 

The first phase involves you wearing an acrylic orthotic device. This device is designed to ensure your temporomandibular joint is in a comfortable position. Once the fit is determined, you wear the orthotic on your lower teeth all day and night for four to six months or until the symptoms of TMJ subside.

The second phase begins when you no longer are experiencing symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. Based on your individual needs, the team assesses which options are best for you. Below are examples of common phase 2 treatments. 

Bite Splints

Generally worn at night, bite splints provide an acrylic platform to bite against. They are designed to relieve symptoms of TMJ dysfunction.

Further phase 2 treatment options include:

  • A long-term orthotic device
  • Replacement of missing teeth
  • Braces
  • Restore teeth with crowns to preserve the bite that was achieved during phase 1

To schedule an initial consultation with the team at Smile Country Dental, call or use the online booking tool today.