TMJ disorder can be frustrating, not only because it causes debilitating symptoms but because it’s hard to diagnose and treat. Many have difficulty diagnosing TMJ disorder because it presents a wide range of symptoms consistent with other conditions. For example, a common symptom of TMJ disorder is headaches, but having headaches doesn’t necessarily mean you have TMJ. Finding a doctor who can accurately pinpoint your condition and why your condition started is essential to effective treatment.
That’s also the reason why TMJ disorder can be challenging to treat. Without knowing the root cause, doctors may prescribe ineffective treatment.
Dr. Ryan Clancy at Divine Smiles is a TMJ dentist who digs deep to find the root cause of your issues before prescribing any treatment. If you’re looking for a TMJ dentist near you, Dr. Clancy is your best bet at finally relieving your TMJ symptoms for good. Call (781) 396-8558 or make an appointment online.
TMJ’s Different Origins
Pain from TMJ disorder can occur for different reasons, ranging from a structural issue with your jaw joint to muscular or nerve pain. Knowing why you are experiencing pain can give Dr. Clancy a clue on how to treat your TMJ disorder.
Structural: Structural issues arise when your jaw is misaligned, displaced, or slipping in and out of place. This can occur from trauma to your joint (such as a car accident) or chronic grinding that eventually leads to uneven teeth and a falling jaw joint.
Muscular: Muscular TMJ problems stem from the overuse of your jaw joint, causing inflammation. This can happen from clenching and grinding your teeth, causing your jaw to become dislodged and your muscles to strain while trying to pull it back into place.
Nerve Pain: Nerve pain can happen from TMJ disorder too. With a misaligned jaw, you could have some pinched nerves. Do you find that your fingers tingle often? This could be a sign of a pinched nerve.
The most common causes of TMJ disorder are:
- Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism)
- Trauma to the jaw or head
How Divine Smiles Treats TMJ Disorder
When searching for TMJ treatment near you, choose Divine Smiles in Woburn and Winchester. We are a compassionate yet highly skilled dental office which a strong track record of relieving TMJ symptoms for good. Are you looking for a permanent solution? Great! We can help. Here are some ways we treat TMJ disorder in our Woburn and Winchester dental office.
Using a TMJ orthotic is always the first-line treatment for TMJ because it allows us to tweak your jaw position until we find the most comfortable and optimal position to minimize pain. Dr. Clancy will perform a series of painless tests that tell him where the true resting position of your jaw should be. Then, he’ll custom-design an orthotic to treat your TMJ. You’ll wear your orthotic 24/7 until your symptoms resolve.
From here, you can opt to continue with your orthotic only at night. However, if your jaw falls back into a poor position during the day, staying with only TMJ orthotic treatment isn’t the best solution for you. You can move onto “phase two” TMJ treatment for a more permanent solution.
Restorative Dental Work
Our jaw is a very mobile joint. It is almost always in motion when we are eating, drinking, laughing, talking, smiling, etc. Your teeth are the only things keeping your jaw joint from falling out of place. When your teeth come together properly, they hold your jaw straight while your mouth is closed. This is why phase two treatment can involve restorative dental work.
If you are a habitual grinder, your teeth may have wear and tear that, when restored, can help to hold your jaw in its optimal position. This may include crowns or porcelain veneers.
Multiple missing teeth can also lead to your jaw becoming misaligned, muscle strain, or nerve pain from TMJ disorder. Replacing those teeth with dental implants will stimulate your jawbone, so it no longer degrades, and your new teeth will hold your jaw in the right position.
Some people may have strained jaw muscles because their bite is off due to poor previous orthodontics or genetics. Using a teeth straightening solution like Invisalign can help move your teeth into the right position, straightening your bite and relieving your TMJ symptoms.
Epigenetic orthodontics is a little different from simply moving your teeth. This looks at your entire head, jaw, and teeth and guides your jaw growth to prevent and solve TMJ issues. Making more room in your mouth for your teeth can fix your bite and, therefore, TMJ disorder.
What to Do About Dental Anxiety
We understand that the thought of a long treatment to solve TMJ can sound daunting and might produce some anxiety. At Divine Smiles, we understand that dental treatments can cause fear, so we do everything possible to make each visit comfortable. If you need assistance in curbing your anxiety, we have drug-free sedation dentistry options that can help.
Why Choose Divine Smiles for TMJ Treatment in Woburn and Winchester?
At Divine Smiles in Woburn and Winchester, we provide comprehensive treatment you may not receive elsewhere. Dr. Clancy is thorough during each appointment in order to give you the best treatment possible. Another benefit of choosing Divine Smiles for TMJ treatment is that Dr. Clancy is also a cosmetic dentist. Along with a life free of pain and other symptoms, you’ll have a beautiful smile.