TMJ Therapy in Bonita Springs, FL
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are tiny, triangular-shaped connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull bone. These joints make it possible for you to speak, chew and smile. When damage or strain affects the TMJ, the resultant oral health conditions are known collectively as TMJ dysfunction or just TMD. If you are experiencing jaw pain, inability to fully open and close the mouth or other signs of TMD, call Pelican Landing Dental to schedule your appointment right away. We offer a variety of treatment options to relieve pain and renew the full function of your jaw.
Diagnosis & Treatment
At Pelican Landing Dental, our Bonita Springs, FL dentists and team will create a customized treatment plan to meet your unique needs based on a careful analysis of the function of your jaw. Though we screen for warning signs of TMD during your six-month dental checkups, it's important for you to let our team know right away if you experience any of the common indicators of TMJ dysfunction including:
- Painful jaw movement
- Radiating jaw, head, neck, or back pain
- Chronic headaches or earaches
- Clicking or grinding sound when opening and closing the mouth
Equilibration / Occlusal Adjustments
As with other dental care plans, our team will develop your TMD therapy plan utilizing the most conservative options and including more advanced treatment as necessary based on your response. For most patients, we’ll begin TMD therapy by analyzing the jaw muscles as well as how the teeth fit together. Often improper contacts of opposing teeth when biting can lead to TMD symptoms. If such is the case, a simple adjustment of one or more of the biting surfaces may greatly improve symptoms. Additional treatment options may include braces or occlusal splints. In extreme cases, we may even need to recommend surgical treatments.
Similar to nightguards crafted to protect teeth for those who experience nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, occlusal splints for TMD sufferers are custom crafted mouth guards that reposition the jaw, so it is in the ideal resting location. This relieves strain on the TMJ during sleep, and reduce unconscious jaw movements that may lead to damage or discomfort. Over time, wearing these splints at night can even help shift the jaw into this ideal position naturally.
TMJ Dysfunction FAQs
TMD can be both annoying and painful. We hope you schedule an appointment with us so we can help you find relief. Before you do that, however, you might like to learn more about TMD and how we approach its treatment. That is why we have compiled the following brief list of FAQs. If you have any additional questions about TMD, you are welcome to contact us directly.
Does Dental Insurance Cover TMJ Therapy?
Some types of dental and medical insurance cover TMJ therapy. However, you will have to check the specifics of your policy to find out how it applies. Some plans only cover certain types of TMJ therapy, while others cover a wider range of treatments. Our team will be happy to help you file insurance claims and get as much as possible out of your benefits.
Will My TMD Go Away on Its Own?
Some patients find that after a while, their TMD symptoms disappear. While this may seem like a good thing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the root cause of your symptoms is no longer an issue. Seeking professional treatment from a qualified dentist in Bonita Springs is the best way to manage TMD and protect your jaw’s long-term well-being.
What Are Common Causes and Risk Factors TMD?
In many cases, the exact cause of TMD is difficult to pinpoint. However, there are a number of factors that have been associated with an increased risk of TMD, including trauma, a misaligned bite, poor posture, and a stressful lifestyle. Also, TMD tends to occur more frequently in women than in men, and individuals between 20 and 40 years old develop it more often than people in other age ranges.
Is There Anything I Can Do at Home to Relieve My TMD Symptoms?
Along with professional treatment, there may be some steps you can take at home to promote your TMJ’s well-being. For example, you should stick to eating relatively soft foods for a while. Stretches and facial massage may also help. Additionally, if your posture is poor, you may find that adjusting it has benefits for your entire musculoskeletal system, including your TMJ in Bonita Springs.
How Long Does It Take for TMJ Therapy to Work?
You can expect to begin to experience relief soon after you begin your TMJ therapy. Most patients report a large decrease in symptoms within a few weeks. It is common for people to see their symptoms completely disappear within a few months.