Eliminate Face, Neck, Jaw Pain & Headaches with Ardmore TMJ Therapy
At the Ardmore, OK dental office of Robert V. Hughes, DDS, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve the optimal level of oral health free from pain and discomfort. One common oral health issues, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD) often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because the symptoms seem unconnected. It’s important that our patients understand what TMJ/TMD is, the warning signs of this common concern, and contact our office to schedule a consultation if they experience any combination of the early indicators associated with TMJ/TMD.
What is TMJ/TMD?
TMJ or more correctly TMD, is the name given to any number of concerns that affect the small connective joints that connect the jawbone to the skull and control the movement of the jaw as patients chew, speak, yawn, and perform other regular activities. This can occur due to traumatic injury, over use, or a misaligned bite which places uneven pressure on the jaw. When the TMJ are damaged or strained, movement of the jaw may be painful, limited, or even impossible.
What are the Warning Signs of TMJ/TMD?
- Jaw pain
- Inability to fully extend the jaw or pain when extending jaw
- Inability to move the jaw at all
- Chronic headaches
- Frequent neck or back pain
- Earaches or mild hearing loss
- Grinding or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth
How do I know if I Have TMJ/TMD?
The only way to know for sure is to receive a diagnosis from a medical professional. Dr. Hughes uses the state-of-the-art T-Scan system to digitally analyze patients’ occlusion (the way the bite fits together). This diagnostic tool is simple and comfortable. Patients simply bite down on the T-Scan diagnostic tool, and the handset collects information about the way teeth come together. We may also see signs of TMJ/TMD either visually or on x-rays. Once patients are diagnosed, we will move forward by creating a personalized treatment plan that meets their specific needs.
How is TMJ/TMD Treated?
No one treatment is right for every patient. We create a custom treatment plan to meet each patients’ individual needs, and in most cases, we’ll recommend some combination of the following solutions:
- Daily jaw joint stretches and exercise to improve range of motion and decrease pain
- Occlusal splints worn during sleep to prevent unconscious shifting and clenching at night
- Orthodontic intervention to properly align the bite relieving strain on the TMJ
- In severe cases, we may recommend surgical interventions completed in partnership with specialists