Jaw tension, pain or “tired” jaws can be the symptoms of a bite disorder or TMJ related disorder. When the bite is not properly aligned due to structural problems with the jaw, malocclusion or other factors, tension increases in the masticatory muscles. This can lead to the painful symptoms of what is commonly called “TMJ”, as well as tooth damage and other dental concerns. Patients with a TMJ disorder often grind their teeth and clench their jaw, increasing muscle tension and sometimes causing damage to the temporomandibular joint.
The first step towards restoring the health and function of your bite is to evaluate your occlusal system using digital diagnostics and a comprehensive dental exam performed by Dr. Dickert or Dr. Lynn. Committed to improving the patient experience in our Charleston area dental practice, Drs. Dickert and Lynn have advanced training and education in the diagnosis and treatment of occlusal disorders. They work with patients on an individual basis to analyze their bite and identify the underlying dysfunction that is causing discomfort and impacting their oral health. This is the key to treatment that will be lasting and reduce both the risk of tooth damage and painful symptoms.
Treating TMJ Disorders
Drs. Dickert and Lynn take a personalized, comprehensive approach to the treatment of a TMJ related disorder. Treatment plans are unique to the oral health condition, underlying issues and aesthetic goals of each patient. The goal of treatment is to stabilize the bite and enable the jaw to relax in a natural position, reducing tension in the muscles.
The most conservative approach, and often the first step in a treatment plan, is the use of a custom night guard. Also known as splint therapy, an oral appliance can be fitted to reposition the jaw and prevent teeth grinding and clenching. For patients who have worn or damaged teeth, malocclusion or a jaw structure problem, additional treatments may be necessary to resolve existing dental problems and balance the bite. These can include restorative treatments, orthodontics or even jaw surgery. Most patients can be successfully treated in our office, but we can coordinate care with a local specialist when necessary.
Schedule An Appointment
If you are concerned about your oral health or experience the symptoms of a bite disorder, schedule a visit with one of our dentists. We offer comprehensive, experienced care for your dental concerns.