TMJ Pain & Headache Treatment in St. Marys
Be free from jaw joint pain and headaches
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is caused by problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, the joint that hinges your lower jaw to the temporal bone of your skull. Jaw joint pain, clicking or popping of the joint and headaches are symptoms of a TMJ disorder.
Friendly, experienced professional treatment
The first step in providing effective treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Pennington and Dr. Parker have extensive experience with treating disorders of the jaw joint and jaw muscles, and know exactly how to pinpoint the problem area. 95% of jaw pain is caused by muscular problems rather than jaw joint problems. Our doctors check for TMD during new patient exams.
New Patient Consultation: Exam, X-Rays & Consultation
To help you find out if your headaches or other facial discomfort is caused by TMD, come in for our new patient exam which includes TMD diagnostics and the following services.
- Functional exam: check TMJ joint, bite alignment and functional analysis of your bite
- Structural exam: check each tooth for signs of decay, pitting, breakage, gaps between teeth and grooves or notches near your gum line.
- Periodontal exam: gentle probing to check pocket depth between teeth and gums, evaluation of existing bone structure, screening for oral cancer
- Cosmetic exam: how your teeth fit in your face, their size shape, condition and position, smile evaluation, lip and gum dynamics
- Digital X-rays and external and intraoral photos as needed
- Discuss your goals for your dental health
- Consultation with the doctor
- Comprehensive treatment plan
To make an appointment, call 912-297-6659 or click here to request an appointment online.
Typical symptoms of TMJ disorder
Typical symptoms include:
- Neck aches
- Upper shoulder pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Facial pain or tenderness around the jaw joint area
- Difficulty opening the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “locked”
- Clicking, grating or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth
- Difficulty chewing
Your doctor will take panoramic X-rays that capture a 360° view of your mouth in a single image. With SICAT software, these images are animated to show the precise movement of your jaw when opening or chewing. This helps him diagnose the alignment of your bite and the position of your teeth within your jaw.
He will examine the temporomandibular joints for pain or tenderness, listen for clicking, popping, or grating sounds during jaw movement and look for limited motion or locking of the jaw while opening or closing the mouth. He will also examine your bite (how your teeth meet) and facial muscle function.
Our doctors use a high-tech diagnostic tool, the Kois Deprogrammer, to help determine the cause of your discomfort. The dental appliance makes contact with your four lower incisors when you close your mouth, thereby reducing resistance when the lower jaw moves back and forth, as with grinding of the teeth. By reducing the intensity of contractions in the jaw muscle, teeth become aligned into the proper position.
This small plastic dental appliance is worn at night for a period of two weeks and allows your doctor to diagnose the proper position and stability of your bite. If your discomfort is being caused by jaw muscles problems rather than problems with your jaw joint, you will feel relief by using this device. At this point, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Every case is unique and we always provide treatment plans that fit your individual needs.
Headaches and TMD disorder
Tension in the jaw muscles caused by a misaligned bite can cause headaches, and in some cases, migraines. Treating the bite alignment problem usually leads to relief from headaches as well as facial aches and pains.To make an appointment, call 912-297-6659 or click here to request an appointment online.