TMJ Treatment

Scott Young, DDS -  - Cosmetic, General, and Neuromuscular Dentistry

Scott Young, DDS

Cosmetic, General, and Neuromuscular Dentistry located in The Woodlands, TX

Scott Young, DDS treats the pain of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders at his practice in The Woodlands, Texas. If you experience pain in your jaw, difficulty chewing, headaches, or aching facial pain, contact Dr. Young for an appointment. He is a certified neuromuscular dentistry expert who specializes in evaluating the underlying cause of your TMJ problem and determining the best way to relieve your pain for the long term. Call the office or schedule your appointment online today to learn more.

TMJ Treatment Q & A

Scott Young, DDS

What are temporomandibular joints disorders?

The two temporomandibular joints in front of your ears connect your jawbone to your skull. The joints move like a hinge so you can open and close your mouth, while also sliding so your jaw can move from side to side. This combination of motions lets you do things such as chew, talk, and yawn. It also makes the temporomandibular joints some of the most complex joints in your body.

TMJ disorders can occur when you have pain and dysfunction in your temporomandibular joints or in the muscles controlling them. TMJ falls into three categories:

  • Pain or discomfort in the muscles that control your jaw
  • Dislocated jaw or injury to some part of the joint
  • Arthritis affecting the temporomandibular joint

People can have one or more of these conditions at the same time. For some, the symptoms improve or disappear in weeks or months. For others, TMJ turns into a long-term condition with debilitating pain.

What are the symptoms and causes of TMJ?

If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have TMJ:

  • Pain in your jaw
  • Limited movement or locking of your jaw
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
  • Aching facial pain
  • Stiff jaw muscles
  • Painful clicking, popping, or grating in your jaw when opening or closing your mouth

Grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep can cause TMJ. Another possible cause is trauma such as a blow to the head.

The temporomandibular joint has shock-absorbing discs at the end of each bone. If the discs deteriorate or become dislodged, it can cause TMJ. In older adults, the cause may be arthritis in the temporomandibular joint.

How is TMJ treated?

Neuromuscular dentistry addresses the underlying issues of TMJ not only to alleviate symptoms, but also to correct jaw misalignment with noninvasive treatments. Generally, the most common treatment for TMJ is a plastic dental night guard that fits over the upper or lower teeth. The night guard stops your teeth from grinding and keeps you from clenching your jaw while you sleep.

As a certified neuromuscular expert, Dr. Young makes night guards that were originally developed to prevent migraine pain, but also help to relieve TMJ. These night guards only cover your front teeth, which makes it more comfortable than full guards that cover all the teeth. It’s also just as effective as the full guard and it can be completed in one appointment.

Additionally, neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Young often treat TMJ with:

  • Physical therapy to stretch and relax jaw muscles
  • Biofeedback therapy or stress reduction
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine to help relax your jaw and measure its optimal position

If your TMJ is severe and your jaw is misaligned to a great extent, orthodontics or dental restorations can help correct the issues permanently.

To learn how you can get relief from the symptoms of TMJ through neuromuscular dentistry, call Scott Young, DDS or schedule an appointment online today.