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TMJ Therapy – Columbia, TN

Stop Chronic Jaw Pain with Personalized Treatment

Man in pain in need of TMJ treatment in Columbia

TMD is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, of your jaw. This joint is a ball-and-socket joint like your shoulder. If something goes wrong inside the joint, this is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and you will find yourself in discomfort or pain until it is fixed. Your dental team at Beck Dental Care of Columbia has received additional training to help them heal your TMJ and get you back to living comfortably again using a variety of specialized options for TMD therapy in Columbia, TN.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Man in pain in need of TMJ treatment in Columbia

TMJ dysfunction is a chronic condition that affects the joints, muscles and connective tissues around the jaw. These oral structures are vital for the complex movements your jaw makes. For example, chewing foods, speaking, laughing, sneezing, yawning and more can become difficult if you have TMJ disorder.

The condition specifically refers to problems with your temporomandibular joint, a component that connects the mandible (or lower jaw) to the maxilla (upper jaw). When the joint becomes overworked, chronic pain and discomfort can appear. This can be due to bite problems, previous oral injuries, or bruxism.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Dentist in Columbia examining an X-ray

Here are some of the symptoms that indicate you may have TMD:

  • Clicking in Your Jaw
  • Pain in the Jaw Joint
  • Jaw Locking Either Open or Closed
  • Painful Bite
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Migraines

Keep in mind that the muscles of the TMJ extend into your temple. Therefore, when there is an issue with your TMJ, you may experience migraine headaches. Your Beck Dental Care of Columbia dentist will help you find a way to relieve these terrible TMJ headaches with the right treatment.

Types of TMJ Treatment

Our office performs a detailed diagnostic process to examine the state of your jaw joints. We capture digital X-rays as well as cone beam scans of your jaw to better understand the source of your pain and determine which treatment will best meet your needs. We’ll go over these options with you beforehand. Keep in mind that different treatments are recommended based on the underlying cause of your jaw dysfunction.

Occlusal Splint

Woman wearing an occlusal guard with her eyes closed

Our highly skilled dentists are able to offer custom mouthguards to take the pressure off your TMJ, allowing it to heal. Your custom mouthguard will also protect you against teeth grinding and TMD-related headaches so you can begin living pain-free again in no time.

Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustment

Dentist performing TMJ treatment in Columbia on patient

One of the most common causes of TMJ dysfunction is bite problems. Typically, this is because current dental restorations are not cemented correctly. As a result, the bite can become uneven and put too much force on the jaw joints. We’ll buff these down to create an even biting force, whether you have dental fillings, crowns, bridges, or other restorations.

Treatment with a TENS Machine

Doctor placing patches for TENS unit onto person’s arm

The term TENS refers to “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.” TENS units are designed to gently stimulate nerves around the jaw joints to ease tension within them. This not only encourages the production of pain-blocking endorphins, but works to massage your joints without using your hands.

BOTOX® Injections

Dentist in Columbia administering BOTOX® for TMJ symptoms

Botox has become an increasingly common treatment option for TMJ symptoms. Once injected into various tensed muscles that help control the jaw, it can create a relaxing effect that lasts for up to several months after treatment. Just remember to stay on top of follow-up visits once every several months or so to continue feeling relief.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

a smiling person

If you’re searching for answers about your TMJ pain, look no further than our team at Beck Dental Care. We offer several treatments to help ease your discomfort and help you reclaim your life. Below, we’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our patients, along with our answers. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Can TMJ disorder be permanently cured?

While BOTOX and TENS therapy for TMJ treatment in Columbia provide temporary relief from discomfort, occlusal splints and occlusal adjustments are designed to permanently ease jaw and facial muscle tension by addressing underlying causes of your pain, like bite misalignment. However, the treatments that you’re eligible for will depend on your unique case.

Is TENS treatment safe for TMJ disorder?

TENS stands for “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation,” and this device can help relieve pain by sending low-voltage, electric currents through jaw joints, neck, and other areas of discomfort to produce endorphins. For good candidates, this treatment method is completely safe, non-invasive, and doesn’t require any medications, needles, or surgeries to complete.

Before you begin this treatment, your dentist in Columbia will ask you about whether you’re pregnant or may become pregnant, have epilepsy, a pacemaker, or any heart conditions. If you do, you may not be a good candidate for this therapy.

How long does it take for BOTOX injections to work for TMJ treatment?

BOTOX injections are able to help relieve TMD-related pain within a few days, and the relief can last for anywhere between three and six months, although this can differ from patient-to-patient.

Can TMJ disorder be treated without surgery?

Yes! Our office follows the National Institutes of Health recommendation of using the most conservative methods possible for treatment of TMJ disorder before resorting to potentially life-changing surgeries. That’s why we offer several different procedures, including BOTOX injections, occlusal splints, equilibration, and TENS therapy.

Is wearing an occlusal splint for TMJ treatment uncomfortable?

Occlusal splints are customized to fit and correct your unique anatomical structure to help provide relief to your jaw joints. Due to the corrective nature of this method, you may experience some slight discomfort as you get used to wearing your splint each night. However, with time, this will turn into relief as your splint corrects your jaw’s position and relieves tension and pressure from the joints.