TMJ Treatment in Spokane and Spokane Valley
Do you get regular headaches, neck aches, or upper back aches? Do you have ringing in your ears, pain in your face, or tingling in your fingers? Do you have recurring jaw pain, difficulty moving your jaw, or teeth and restorations that are worn out before their time? If so, then you may have TMJ, temporomandibular joint disorder, which can cause these and many more symptoms, but can be hard for your doctor to diagnose and treat.
Neuromuscular dentists like Drs. Kenneth and Marnie Collins in Spokane are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ. They can help you get TMJ relief with a variety of treatment options so you can get the one that best suits your condition, your lifestyle, and your budget.
TMJ Disorder, short for temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMD, is an imbalance in the muscles, bones, nerves, and teeth that are supposed to work together in the proper functioning of your jaw. The result is poor function in your jaw, but the effects can be widespread.
The muscles in your jaw partner with those in your head and neck, so when your jaw is out of balance, its effects can spread into your head, neck, and spine. Muscle tension and pinched nerves can cause symptoms literally from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
There are many common TMJ symptoms, so many that TMJ is often mistaken for other common disorders. If you have TMJ, you may notice:
- Jaw pain
- Recurrent, severe headaches (including migraines)
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Neck and face pain
- Popping, clicking, or grinding in the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Worn or broken teeth
- Back pain
- Tingling in the extremities
These are just a few of the symptoms of TMJ. With these symptoms and more, it’s no wonder that TMJ is hard to diagnose.
Fortunately, TMJ treatment can eliminate or reduce all your TMJ symptoms.
TMJ treatment begins with an evaluation of your current bite using the K-7 system. The K-7 is a scientific instrument that measures the sound of your bite, the motion of your jaw, and the tension in your muscles, providing objective data that can inform your treatment and help us determine the extent of your disorder.
Then we use TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), a kind of electric massage, to relax your jaw muscles. This takes about 30-45 minutes, and it may provide temporary, sometimes long-term relief of many of your TMJ symptoms.
Once your muscles have been relaxed, we will measure your jaw’s motion again and determine the ideal position of your jaw. Based on the disparity between your jaw’s ideal position and the position it had been in, we will recommend treatments for you.
TMJ Treatment—Moving the Bite
The TMJ treatment that is best for you depends on the cause and extent of your TMJ. For some people with minor TMJ, periodic TENS treatments may allow you to keep your TMJ symptoms under control. Other people may need their bite reworked. We offer the following options for reconfiguring your bite:
- Coronoplasty—Reshaping your teeth slightly so they fit together in a more ideal bite
- Neuromuscular orthotics—Also called a “bite splint,” this is like a mouthguard that you wear for some amount of time during the day or, more commonly, at night while you sleep to retrain your jaw muscles
- Full mouth reconstruction—making larger-scale changes in your bite using dental restorations and/or orthodontics to achieve the ideal bite position
We will talk to you about your options and help you select the right option for you.
What is TMJ?
Find out more about temporomandibular joint disorder.
Do you get severe headaches often? No matter what type of headaches you have, TMJ treatment can help.
Does your jaw hurt when you move it? Does it hurt all the time? If so, TMJ treatment may be the answer to your jaw pain. It can also get rid of your clicking, popping, or sticky jaw.
Don’t Keep Living with TMJ Symptoms
If you know you have or suspect you have TMJ, we can help. Please call 509-532-1111 (Spokane) or 509-927-2273 (Spokane Valley) or email Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today to schedule your appointment.