620-B Lillington Highway | Spring Lake, NC 28390

Professional TMJ Treatment in Spring Lake, NC

You may not have heard of the term temporomandibular joint before, but it’s what allows your jaw to open, close, and move side to side. So when something is wrong with that joint, it can not only be inconvenient, but painful too. That’s a condition called temporomanidbular joint disorder, or TMD for short. At Spring Lake Oral Surgery, we provide specialized care for TMJ disorder to help patients get back to a life with a pain-free, fully functioning jaw.

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TMJ Disorder Questionnaire

So how do you know if you’re dealing with TMD? Really, the best way is to visit a dental professional so they can complete an exam in person. But there are some questions you can ask that and may signal that you have the jaw disorder:

  • Do you wake up with a sore or stiff jaw?
  • Do you regularly have jaw pain?
  • Do you often have headaches, neck aches, or earaches?
  • Do you experience pain while chewing?
  • Do you frequently grind or clench your teeth?
  • Do you experience pain when grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Is it uncomfortable to open your mouth?
  • Does your jaw pop, grate, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Have you ever experienced a jaw, head, or neck injury?
  • Has the way your upper and lower teeth come together changed?
  • Does your face ever feel tired?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then we recommend coming in for an evaluation and consultation so we can help you determine whether TMJ disorder is the cause.

TMD Treatment Options

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can arise a number of different ways. Some of the most common causes are bruxism (grinding your teeth at night), injury, a sleep disorder, arthritis, teeth misalignment, and stress. The reason we bring that up is because your TMJ treatment will differ depending on what’s behind your disorder and discomfort. From at-home, self-care remedies to a custom-made bite guard, our team can come up with a personalized plan to improve the function of your jaw, relieve pain, and get you back to great condition.

Some treatment options include:

  • Jaw Exercises
  • Posture Adjustment
  • Stress Management Techniques
  • Physical Therapy
  • Orthodontics
  • Dental Device/Nightguard

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Does TMJ go away on its own?

Some patients only deal with TMJ during times of heightened stress and anxiety, like if they have a big exam coming up. In other cases, patients will experience TMJ symptoms on a regular basis. Whether TMJ affects your daily life or you only deal with it on occasion, our team would be happy to create a treatment plan to protect your smile. Chronic teeth clenching can have serious, irreversible consequences, so it’s always best to find a treatment option that works well for you.

Can I get an over-the-counter nightguard?

One-size-fits-all nightguards are available for patients to buy in stores or order online. However, we often recommend that patients invest in custom mouthguards for their TMJ, as they are molded around your unique smile and are more comfortable to wear for hours at a time. Our custom nightguards are also very durable and can often withstand many years of wear and tear before they need to be replaced.

Who is most likely to develop TMJ?

Women are much more likely than men to develop temporomandibular joint disorder. Patients with a family history of chronic bruxism or TMJ are more likely to develop their own symptoms as well. Patients who have previously suffered from jaw injuries or who have misaligned bites may also develop TMJ symptoms. However, anyone can suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, so if you think you may have it, we recommend seeking a diagnosis and treatment.