Our Tampa dentist, Dr. Maria Upshaw, is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care, including the diagnosis and treatment of the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). We understand the challenges and discomfort associated with TMJ pain and offer effective non-surgical TMJ treatments to help alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJD or TMJ disorder, refers to a condition that affects the jaw joint and surrounding tissues. The temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge connecting your jawbone to the skull, allowing for the opening and closing of your mouth during eating and talking. When this joint becomes misaligned or experiences dysfunction due to structural damage or trauma, it can result in pain and discomfort. In some cases, limited range of motion can significantly interfere with your quality of life.
TMJD can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms may vary from person to person. Some common signs of TMJ disorder include:
The treatment approach for TMJ pain depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. At Upshaw Dental Studio, we offer personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs. Some common treatments for TMJ pain include:
Customized bite splints or nightguards can be worn to help realign the jaw joint and reduce muscle tension. These devices are designed to alleviate symptoms by providing support and reducing strain in and around your TMJ.
Since stress and anxiety can exacerbate TMJ symptoms, incorporating stress reduction techniques such as relaxation exercises, massage, meditation, and counseling to manage the source of your TMJ pain.
Jaw exercises and physical therapy techniques can strengthen the jaw muscles and improve joint mobility, providing relief from TMJ pain.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory medications can be used to manage TMJ pain and reduce inflammation. However, medications are usually only recommended on a case-by-case basis.
Dr. Upshaw may recommend lifestyle changes such as avoiding hard or chewy foods, applying heat or cold packs to the affected area, and practicing good posture to alleviate TMJ pain.
Non-surgical TMJ treatment options are often the preferred approach for managing TMJ pain due to their effectiveness and conservative nature. These treatments focus on addressing the underlying causes of TMJ disorder and alleviating symptoms without the need for invasive procedures. Non-surgical options carry minimal risks, offer faster recovery times, and allow patients to explore alternative treatments before considering surgical intervention.
A TMJ bite splint, also known as a dental splint or occlusal splint, is a custom-made oral appliance that fits over the upper or lower teeth. The bite splint helps align the jaw in a more optimal position, reducing strain on the temporomandibular joint and preventing the associated muscles from fully engaging. As a result, muscle strain is naturally reduced.
For patients with bruxism (teeth grinding) or jaw clenching habits, the bite splint provides a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing further damage to the teeth and jaw joint.
If you are experiencing TMJ pain, Upshaw Dental Studio offers effective non-surgical TMD treatments to help alleviate your symptoms. Through personalized treatment plans and the use of custom-made bite splints, Dr. Upshaw will work with you to restore jaw function, reduce pain, and improve your overall quality of life.
Schedule a consultation today and take the first step towards finding relief from TMJ pain!