Experiencing headaches, jaw or neck pain, or trouble chewing? You may have an issue with your temporomandibular joint, commonly known simply as TMJ. TMJ is a small joint which connects your jaw to your skull. When the joint has been damaged and/or has connective problems, the result can be a variety of health effects ranging from migraines to even arm and hand numbness. We here at Bynum Aesthetic Dentistry are well experienced in neuromuscular dentistry, the practice of treating your teeth, joints, and connective muscles all as one working unit. We are able to then better diagnose and treat ailments created by problems related to TMJ.
What is TMD?
When there is a chronic issue with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), we call this a temporomandibular joint disorder, hence the term TMD. There are various symptoms to indicate an issue with your TMJ, such as:
- Discomfort chewing or moving the jaw
- Locking of the jaw
- Ringing in the ears &/or earaches
- Teeth sensitivity when there are no other oral health issues
- Pain in the face, neck, back, shoulders, arms, and hands
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers
- Over/Under bite alignment of upper & lower teeth
Treating with Neuromuscular Dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry involves using the muscles and nerves surrounding the jaw to position it into a physiologically balanced and functionally comfortable position. Using science and technology, we can determine if the muscles, nerves and jaw are in fact aligned properly.
We have a variety of techniques we use to diagnose and treat TMJ disorders, or TMD.
Our Typical Diagnosis Approach:
When determining if there is an issue with TMJ, we will look at several factors. First, we’ll conduct a physical examination of your mouth and jaw, ask you questions about any pain/discomfort you may be experiencing, and review your oral history. We’ll see if you can easily open your mouth wide and if there are any pops made during movement. Then we may utilize x-rays and MRIs to take a deeper look at how your jaw is connected and aligned. All of this can be done from the comfort of our dental office.
Once we’ve determined there is indeed an issue with the temporomandibular joint, we have several methods for correcting.
Lifestyle Changes & Pain Management
Sometimes when the TMJ is not severely damaged and pain is minimal, we can simply treat TMD with small changes to your lifestyle. We can treat pain with regular over-the-counter pain medication, while adjusting things like your diet & stress levels to improve the discomfort. By eating softer foods and managing your stress, you can lessen any excessive teeth grinding or pressure put on the jaw.
Dental Treatment Options
When simple changes are not enough to improve TMD pain, we offer several in-office treatment options such as custom mouthguards, oral splints or surgery to realign your jaw properly.
“Outstanding staff and Dr. Bynum is excellent. I was provided a great consultation for a complex TMJ issue and received solid guidance on how to proceed. This is a kind, competent, and professional practice.” – Kristi K.
Our practice is a top neuromuscular dentistry practice in the great Greenville area. If you are experiencing jaw pain, unexplainable teeth, head, or ear pain, contact our team today to set up a consultation appointment.