Temporomandibular Disorder Therapy

Mouthguards for TMD Disorder in Harker Heights

What is temporomandibular disorder?

Temporomandibular (TMD) disorder, also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves. It’s usually caused by inflammation or injury to the temporomandibular joint, which connects the skull to the jawbone.

Anything from a tooth or jaw injury, teeth misalignment, teeth grinding, stress, bad posture, and even gum chewing can cause this condition. Women ages 18-44 have increased risk of developing the syndrome. People who are genetically predisposed to pain sensitivity and an increased stress response are also more susceptible.

TMD Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of TMJ syndrome can manifest in intense and unpredictable pain, and include:

  • Jaw joint pain and locking
  • Clicking and popping of the jaw
  • Sore/stiff jaw muscles
  • Ear pain
  • Popping sound in ears
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches, including pain in temple area.

TMD Therapy Options

Treatment options for TMD/TMJ range from jaw relaxation techniques to surgery. At Knights Family Dentistry, we find that mouthguards are an effective, affordable option for many patients suffering from TMD, and is one of the least invasive ways to treat the condition.

Mouthguards, or night guards, are small plastic devices you insert in your mouth to help you shift your jaw into the right position before you go to bed. They let the muscles rest and prevent you from grinding your teeth at night by placing a barrier between your teeth.

We will provide you with a custom-made night guard that will be both effective and comfortable. The over-the-counter, store-bought guards are one-size-fits-all and therefore proven to be less effective. If you use your night guard as directed, it will relieve pain and help you control your TMD symptoms.

Our goal is to diagnose you first and then offer the most cost-effective treatment. We have state-of-the-art technology at our disposal and extensive experience in treating TMD. We make a concerted effort to help you avoid invasive and irreversible treatment like surgery.

Please contact us anytime with questions about TMD therapy or to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Night Guards and TMD Therapy

You might have TMD disorder if you suffer from earaches, headaches, or any facial pain and tenderness around your jaw, cheeks, and neck. Symptoms also include clicking, popping or locking jaw, and pain when chewing.

We will diagnose you by first discussing your medical history and behaviors (such as nighttime teeth grinding and gum chewing), by providing a physical examination to check your jaw movement and your bite, and by taking a full set of dental X-rays. We may also order further imaging tests, such MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound to take a closer look.

Many factors contribute to causing TMD. Some cannot be helped, like face or neck injury. You can, however, be mindful of and try to prevent excessive grinding and clenching of your teeth, and avoid gum chewing. You can also try to correct your posture (especially relevant if you spend long hours at a desk) and decrease your stress level.

Ready to Book an Appointment?

If you’re ready to schedule an appointment or have questions concerning mouthguards, call us at (254) 863-8003 or use our simple online contact form.

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