What Is TMJ Therapy?
Many men and women experience issues related to their temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints connect the lower jaw to both sides of your head to allow for proper oral function, such as speaking and eating. The jaw joints are the most often used joints throughout your body. However, when the jaw joints become inflamed, damaged, or injured, this can result in a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can make it difficult to perform daily activities, as well as lead to pain in the jaw, face, and neck, and other issues. To treat this debilitating condition, our skilled team of specialists works with a large number of patients every year to treat TMD and the symptoms that arise from the dysfunction, such as facial pain and difficulty speaking and chewing. With a full register of advanced technology at our disposal, we can assess the condition of your jaw joints and formulate a unique treatment plan to address your individual concerns. Treatments for temporomandibular joint disorder can include bite adjustments, palliative care, BOTOX®, night guard therapy, or surgery, depending on the severity of your condition. If you're experiencing pain in the jaw or other telltale symptoms of TMD, such as clicking or popping noises when you open and close your mouth, schedule a consultation at one of our Colorado Springs or Pueblo, CO offices.
TMJ Therapy Reviews
"Dr. Ringer removed my wisdom teeth and upon hearing I had TMD took a lot of care to be gentle with my jaw and also insisted that he look at my jaw issues. For a while I have had a locked jaw and thought there was nothing I could do about it. However, today Dr. Ringer performed athrocentesis on both sides of my face, and I am hopeful I will soon have full movement in my jaw again. I am so thankful for the clarity, guidance, and care I received from not only him but all of the employees at Colorado Springs Oral Surgery. They truly have gone above and beyond to help me with something I thought could not be fixed. Thank you!!!!"- Z.A. / Google / Mar 29, 2020
Who Is a Candidate for TMJ Treatment?
Although numerous factors can lead one to develop TMD, its precise cause is currently unknown. Issues with the temporomandibular joints can arise as a result of bruxism (habitual teeth clenching or grinding), a misaligned bite or teeth, facial trauma, or certain habits (such as gum chewing or chewing pens, erasers, and other foreign items). In a select number of patients, TMD may even be brought on by a tumor in the TMJ, genetics, or arthritis. Some may even develop the condition without exhibiting any signs of the aforementioned issues. Whatever the cause of your condition may be, our experienced doctors will conduct an evaluation to examine your temporomandibular joints and detect the potential origin of your TMD. From there, we will be able to design a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique issues and manages your symptoms. If you suffer from this condition, common signs that you may be experiencing are:
- Occasional or daily pain in the TMJ that ranges from mild to severe
- Hearing popping or clicking noises when you open or close your mouth
- Limited jaw mobility
- Discomfort while eating, biting, or chewing
- Tenderness in the face, head, neck, or jaw joints
- Tinnitus (hearing ringing in the ears)
How Is TMD Diagnosed and Treated?
To assess the condition of your jaw joints and detect the potential cause of your temporomandibular joint disorder, one of our highly trained doctors will ask about your symptoms and ask detailed questions to reach the probable conclusion. During your evaluation, we will look for signs of bruxism (teeth grinding), misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite, and review any dental restorations that could be causing occlusal (bite) issues. We will also palpate the jaw joints and surrounding muscles to feel for tenderness and swelling. From there, we will listen to your joints to find out if any audible sounds can be heard when you close or open your mouth. To make your diagnosis more accurate, our offices use advanced, low-radiation x-rays, 3D cone beam imaging, and MRI scans to assess your oral and facial structures. We may also perform a bite analysis to test for the misalignment of the jaw. Depending on what we discover, your treatment options could include oral appliance therapy (such as night guards), palliative care, BOTOX® injections, or restorative dentistry services. However, more intense causes of TMJ damage may require treatment with orthodontics or surgery.
What to Expect During TMJ Therapy
The follow-up process for your TMJ therapy will depend on the treatment selected to address your unique situation. Our doctors might suggest a series of palliative therapies to minimize any symptoms you experience as a result of your TMD. Palliative therapy commonly employs the use of hot and cold compresses, sticking to a soft food diet, and utilizing relaxation strategies. Patients who are diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder should avoid chewing gum, ice, and other foreign objects to reduce the strain on their jaw joints and muscles. One of our doctors may also urge you to practice certain jaw strengthening exercises and stretches to reduce tension. If you are still experiencing discomfort, we may prescribe pain medication or medicine to manage inflammation and anxiety.
You should attend all planned follow-up appointments at our Colorado Springs or Pueblo, CO offices so our team can continue to monitor your progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan as needed. We may also work with your general dentist to ensure that you continue to receive the comprehensive care you need. While you're being treated for TMD, you will still need to see your general dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and annual examinations, as well as keep up a consistent oral health routine.
Is TMJ Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Depending on the treatment you receive to address and manage your TMD, some of the costs of your procedures and services may be covered. To determine your benefits, we will contact your insurance provider and file a claim on your behalf. Our Colorado Springs and Pueblo, CO offices work hard to ensure that every patient receives the personalized care they need to overcome their oral and maxillofacial issues. For those without insurance or those who have out-of-pocket costs, we accept several payment methods and can provide you with information regarding low-interest medical financing.
Find Relief for Jaw Pain and TMD
Regardless of the cause of your TMD, our skilled team of specialists will work with you one-on-one to assess the condition of your jaw joints, determine the cause of your issues, and create a treatment plan that restores your oral health and function. If you're experiencing pain in the jaw joints or face, difficulty chewing, eating, or speaking, or hear clicking or popping noises when you open or close your mouth, contact one of our specialists today. When it comes to temporomandibular joint disorder, receiving the necessary care is vital for your long-term wellness.