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811 St. Andrews Blvd, Ste B Charleston, SC 29407

TMJ Treatment Charleston, SC

TMJ TreatmentAn Overview

Do you suffer from frequent headaches, neck or jaw pain, or an uncomfortable bite?

These can be the symptoms of a bite disorder or occlusal disease. Commonly referred to as TMJ, bite disorders can impact your dental health and your daily quality of life if left untreated.

Graduates of the Dawson Academy, Charleston dentists Dr. James Dickert and Dr. Agatha Lynn have advanced training in the comprehensive diagnosis of occlusal disease and can help you restore your oral health with TMJ therapy.

Common Symptoms of TMJ

A bite disorder can have a range of symptoms, including:

  • Headaches or migraines, especially in the morning
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Jaw pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joint
  • Teeth clenching or grinding

Teeth Grinding and TMJ

Another common sign of a bite problem is teeth grinding. Many patients do not realize they are grinding their teeth, but worn teeth or cracked teeth are common signs that this is occurring. If you notice that your teeth appear flat or worn on the biting surface, or feel sore in the morning, you are probably grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you are sleeping.

Although teeth grinding or jaw clenching can be a response to stress, a dysfunctional bite often leads to this habit because of the tension it creates in the jaw. When the teeth do not make proper contact, the jaw is unable to relax into its natural position. Many patients with an uneven bite will grind and clench their teeth without realizing it, ultimately wearing down and damaging them in the process.

Schedule A Consultation

To learn more about our personalized care and treatment for TMJ, contact our Charleston restorative dentistry to schedule an appointment. We serve patients from Charleston and many local areas in a warm, caring environment. Contact us at (843) 371-5480 or request an appointment online.

TMJ Treatment What to Expect

The first step is a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of your occlusal system. This includes the teeth, gums, and jaw joints. Pinpointing the underlying cause of your bite dysfunction is the key to treatment that will go beyond the symptoms and improve your overall oral health for the long term.

Treatment will be tailored to your specific needs and can include one or more of the following:

  • Mouthguard and splint therapy: this conservative option can be either a solution for a mild problem or the first step for more advanced malocclusion. A dental splint can be used to help you find the most comfortable and functional jaw position for adjusting your bite with restorative procedures.
  • Bite correction: if teeth are damaged, worn, or not making proper contact, bite equilibration can be performed using restorative dental treatments such as dental crowns and tooth bonding.
  • Orthodontics: for crooked teeth, we may recommend Invisalign® or other orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile and address your bite dysfunction.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms or tooth damage, a combination of the above treatment options may be necessary to restore overall dental health and a comfortable, functional smile.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

What is the best treatment for TMJ?

The best treatment for TMJ for your needs will depend on the severity of your issue. The best way to determine how you can alleviate your specific TMJ symptoms is to visit the dentist for an evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options.

What happens if TMJ is left untreated?

An untreated TMJ disorder can lead to many different situations. Your TMJ symptoms can get significantly worse, they can remain the same for a while, or go away on their own. There is no way of knowing what will happen in your unique situation without getting a professional diagnosis from your dentist.

Why does my jawline hurt on one side?

Jaw pain, especially in the morning, is a common TMJ symptom. If your jaw hurts on one side more than the other side, it may be due to the position in which you sleep. Sleeping on your back is best for patients with TMJ. Sleeping on your side can add stress to your jaw and increase the symptoms.

How can I relax my jaw?

To relax your jaw, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth. Open your mouth slightly so your teeth are not touching. When you notice your jaw clenching, gently place your tongue in this position.

Why is my jaw clicking?

If your jaw clicks or pops when you yawn or eat hard and crunchy foods, your jaw you may have a TMJ disorder. Jaw clicking is a sign that your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, may be disloged or under pressure.

Can sleeping on your stomach cause TMJ disorders?

We recommend that patients sleep on their backs, because sleeping on the stomach can place pressure on the jaw and skull. This pressure can push the jaw back towards the skull. Sleeping on your stomach can worsen TMD symptoms and push the jaw out of alignment.