A misaligned jaw can cause numerous problems in the rest of the body, including facial tenderness, headaches, and hearing problems. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are concerns of the jaw caused by grinding and clenching of the teeth, stress, and other strain or damage to the joints that connect the jaw to the skull. In such cases, Drs. Douglas Campbell and David Schmidt offer a variety of treatment options to help patients achieve optimal comfort and function of the TMJ.
TMD Diagnosis & Treatment
Before we partner with patients to develop a custom treatment plan, we must diagnose TMD. We encourage patients to contact us immediately if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- Inability to fully open and close mouth
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw when opening and closing mouth
- Clicking or grinding sound when opening and closing mouth
- Frequent headaches, neck pain, back pain, or earache
If patients experience any combination of these symptoms, we carefully examine the jaw, how the bite fits together, and other structural indicators of TMD to determine the diagnosis. If patients are diagnosed with TMD, we may recommend several treatments, including occlusal adjustment, oral appliance therapy, and TENS therapy.
Ensuring the ideal overall form and function of the jaw joints, bite, and overall motion is essential for the complete form and function of the patient’s smile. Often referred to as equilibration, bite adjustment allows patients to achieve optimal jaw function free from pain. We may recommend a number of treatments to complete equilibration, including braces, retainers, surgical treatment, and other adjustment methods. Our team works one on one with patients to determine which treatment option is best to achieve their desired results.
Patients with TMD that is a result of nighttime teeth grinding and clenching may benefit from wearing an occlusal splint. These comfortable, custom mouthguards position the jaw in its ideal location, allowing the joints to rest comfortably while asleep. This significantly reduces the amount of grinding and clenching patients experience during sleep as the jaw joint seeks a comfortable position. The relief of this undue strain at night is often adequate to significantly reduce jaw pain and discomfort.
Treatment with TENS
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS is a therapy that allows us to use low voltage electricity to reduce unnecessary joint and muscle movement, relieving pain. TENS therapy sends an electrical circuit through the painful area, blocking pain receptors in the brain. This relieves pain and allows patients to resume regular daily jaw motion without strain or discomfort. We provide TENS treatments in our practice during a visit. For those patients with severe TMD, we may recommend the use of TENS at home.
TMJ Dentists in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
Millions of people live with the debilitating effects of TMJ disorder, but relief is within reach. Lake Forest Smiles offers noninvasive treatments for treating TMJ disorder. To find out more or to schedule your consultation with Lake Forest Smiles, please call (847) 234-4800. Drs. Campbell and Schmidt have been providing elite dental care to the communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. We welcome you to our practice.