Jaw pain is not normal.
If jaw pain is part of your everyday life, it may seem normal to you. The truth is, jaw pain is far from normal and may be a symptom of a condition called TMD from one or both of your TMJs. Those are the joints of your lower jaw, called TemporoMandibular Joints. When disease or misalignment occurs, the TMJ and surrounding area becomes inflamed — which is what causes pain and other symptoms.
- Earaches, tenderness around the ear
- Face or jaw pain and tenderness
- Muscle pain in your neck, shoulders and upper back
- Ringing in the ears
- Clicking, popping, or grinding jaw
- Difficulty chewing, yawning or opening your mouth
What are the signs of TMJ disorder (TMD)?
How Do We Diagnose And Treat TMJ Disorder?
Treatment of TMD begins with a comprehensive clinical examination, to check your face, jaw, bite, joints, and teeth. During your appointment, we will check for pain and tenderness and listen for clicking or popping when you open and close your mouth, swallow, or chew. If the disorder is diagnosed, an occlusal guard is often recommended as the initial treatment, in addition to laser therapy to address the acute pain.
Treatment and Relief
Our treatment application involves an occlusal guard, which is a custom-created plastic mouthpieces, designed to fit over your lower teeth. These type of devices prevent the grinding and clenching that often causes or worsens TMD. The occlusal guard also realigns the jaw, removing stress on the surrounding area.
Dr. Brittany also uses non surgical laser therapy to help with the pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
Alternative Treatment Options
If a misaligned bite or missing teeth are the cause of your symptoms, we may recommend orthodontics or restorative dental work. If your bite is placing undue pressure on the TMJ’s, we may suggest reshaping individual teeth to redistribute the bite force evenly.
Dr. Brittany also tests each TMJ patient for sleep issues. TMJ pain and sleep issues often go hand in hand. If a sleep disorder is found, pain is addressed first, and the TMJ is stabilized during treatment for both issues.
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. If this joint becomes misaligned or inflamed we refer to that as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMD for short.
Signs or symptoms of TMD include pain and tenderness in or around the ear, the jaw joint, or the muscles of the jaw, face or temples. Other symptoms are problems opening or closing your mouth, and a clicking, popping, crunching or grinding noise when you chew, yawn or open your mouth. TMDs may be linked with neck pain and headaches.
TMD is caused by a combination of factors like jaw injuries and joint disease, such as arthritis, and underdeveloped jaws and airway. It’s believed that bruxism (tooth clenching or grinding) and head or neck muscle tension may make TMD symptoms worse. Stress is also a possible factor. However, it is not clear if stress causes TMD or is a result. As you can see, there are an array of different causes which makes TMD hard to diagnose. The best way to understand your jaw pain symptoms are to book an appointment.
There are many possible causes of headaches. No doctor will be able to determine the cause of your headache without a physical examination.
Most often, TMJ pain can be treated effectively with non-invasive treatments and therapies. In very rare circumstances, TMD may require surgery. Your health and happiness are both important to us. We will always present you with all of your options, work through the safest and easiest options first, and give you the final decision on what happens next.
Dr. Johansen is very personable and knowledgeable! I went to bed one night without my Vivos and woke up gasping for air. I put in my Vivos appliance and slept well the rest of the night. I needed to know this wasn't a fluke, so I purposefully went to bed the next night and had the same result after putting in my Vivos. :)
We love Dr. Johansen! She is very passionate and knowledgeable about her work!
Dr. Brittany is truly amazing. She is always thinking of ways to help her patients and is constantly striving to improve her skills and learn new things. I and my 3 children are undergoing treatment for our airways, and I have noticed improvements in my sleep and breathing, and have also seen amazing improvements in the growth of my children's mouths, as well as their sleep!