TMJ Therapy – DuPont, WA
Relieving Jaw Pain for Better Oral Health
Are you experiencing severe jaw pain? Does it hurt to open and close your mouth? Do you notice it popping or locking? If you are living with TMJ disorder (also known as TMD), you will be happy to know there is a solution for treating this chronic and often debilitating pain. At Devoted Family Dental, our team of professionals can diagnose and treat this common disorder with TMJ Therapy in DuPont, WA. To find out more about this beneficial and life-changing treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Why Choose DuPont Family Dentistry for TMJ Therapy?
- Fully Customized Oral Appliances
- Early and Late Dental Office Hours
- State-of-the-Art Dental Office
What is TMJ Disorder?
Each of us has what is known as temporomandibular joints. These exist on either side of your mouth and connect the lower jawbone to your skull. When these joints become inflamed due to certain causes such as facial trauma or bruxism, you will begin to notice that it is much more difficult to chew, eat, speak, smile, or even yawn. What might begin as a minor pain will quickly develop into what is known as temporomandibular joint disorder or (TMD).
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
The symptoms are not always easy to spot in the beginning; however, once you know the symptoms associated with TMJ disorder or TMD, you will be able to easily identify if you believe you are suffering from this condition. If so, make sure to call our dental office and schedule an appointment. A thorough examination by one of our dentists will confirm or deny the presence of TMD.
Some of the common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Pain or aching in your face or around your ears
- Jaw locks when attempting to open or close the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or eating
- Pain in the temporomandibular joints
- General pain or tenderness in your jaw
- Migraines or general headaches
- Bite misalignment
If after looking at your oral cavity and facial structure it is confirmed that you do have TMD, Dr. Sharma or Dr. Ludu will recommend an occlusal splint, which functions and is designed to look much like a traditional mouthguard. These small, compact, oral devices help to reduce any pressure that is being placed onto your jaw joints as well as realign your bite. Custom-made to fit your mouth comfortably, they also work to prevent your teeth from coming into contact with each other.
Every patient is different, so based on the suggestion by Dr. Sharma or Dr. Ludu, you may need to wear your appliance only at night or all day. When it comes to treating TMD, the most effective method available is oral appliance therapy.
Benefits of TMJ Therapy
Apart from the ability to relieve chronic jaw pain, the other benefits associated with TMJ Therapy include:
- Helps to prevent or stop bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching)
- Reduces frequent headaches
- Reduces excessive wear and tear on your teeth
- Restores functionality without pain (i.e., eating, chewing, speaking, yawning, smiling)
- Boosts your confidence and overall mood and quality of life
TMJ Treatment FAQs
Learning you need TMJ Treatment in DuPont will likely cause you to have many questions. It is normal to wonder what the process will be like and if you will ever have a functioning and painless jaw again. When meeting with our dental team, you can feel comfortable and confident asking as many questions as needed, but to help you get started, we have compiled some common ones we have received over the years from our patients. Feel free to review the information and call our office to schedule an appointment to learn more.
Can TMJ Be Cured Permanently?
It depends on the type of treatment you receive. Some levels of discomfort can often dissipate on their own, but if you begin to notice that the pain is impacting your ability to complete normal daily tasks, it is essential that you call our office to schedule an appointment. When meeting with your dentist in DuPont, you can expect there to be a thorough evaluation before determining how best to treat your TMJ. If Botox or a TENS machine is used, the discomfort will ease but only for a certain period of time. However, if you begin treatment with an occlusal splint or equilibration/occlusal adjustment, you can expect there to be a permanent change in how your jaw moves and remains aligned. This can lead to lasting relief.
Is TMJ Treatment Safe?
Yes, when performed by a trusted and experienced dentist, you can expect that your treatment will be completely safe. Conservative and minimally invasive treatment options are preferred according to the National Institute of Health, so if your dentist immediately decides to pursue surgery, you might want to consider a second opinion. Occlusal splints, equilibration/occlusal adjustment, and treatment with a TENS unit are considered very safe. And although the use of Botox to treat TMJ remains debatable among experts, it is likely to be a safe solution if recommended by your dentist.
How Long Does It Take For a TMJ Splint to Work?
You can expect to wear your occlusal splint to bed every night if you want to notice a difference in your symptoms. They can begin to dissipate quickly, but they will not completely disappear right away. Remember that it takes time for the jaw to reposition and adjust to its new location. Also, after six weeks, you may notice great improvement but not complete relief. The normal timeframe for occlusal splint treatment is 3-6 months, but each person is different, so there is the possibility yours might take longer or be shorter.
Is TMJ Treatment Expensive?
Many factors can determine how much you can expect to pay for TMJ Treatment. The city or town in which your dentist’s office is located, the insurance provider you see, and the type of treatment you need will ultimately determine the price of your care. You can expect that the more extensive your treatment, the higher the cost will be.
Determining which type of treatment you need will be factored based on the reason for your TMD, the severity of your symptoms, and other various factors.
It’s important to know that not all dental insurance companies will pay a portion of TMJ treatment costs. If it does not, you will need to ask about alternative payment options such as CareCredit, which allows you to break up the cost of your care into monthly installments.
No matter how expensive your treatment might be, however, never forgo the benefits of proper care, especially when suffering from long-term pain.