Do you suffer with chronic pain in your head, neck, jaw, or all three? If you’ve experienced this kind of discomfort, you know what a negative effect it can have on your life. Even simple actions like chewing and speaking can be very painful. In some cases, you may feel pain all the time, whether you’re moving your mouth or not. At The Dental Office of Dr. J. Larry Brewer, we offer conservative treatments that can help reduce your pain and allow you to get on with your life.
So why are you experiencing this pain, and what can we do to give you relief?
Common Symptoms of TMJ
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a small hinge joint that attaches the skull to the lower jaw. It allows your jaw to move easily when you speak and chew. You can feel this joint moving if you place your fingers in front of your ears and open and close your jaw. When this joint is not working correctly or causes you pain, we use the term TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder.
While your jaw is moving, the muscles that control movement are also working to support your head and neck. These muscles have a lot of work to do and can become tired, tense, or painful from overuse just like any other muscles in the body. This can lead to facial pain and pain in your jaw, neck, and head.
Some common symptoms of TMD are:
- Chronic headaches, including migraines
- Clicking or popping noises in the jaw
- Tooth breakage and dental wear
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
Treating TMD Symptoms
Our goal with your treatment is to decrease pain, improve jaw function, and limit the impact that TMD has on your daily life.
Dr. Brewer starts with a thorough evaluation of your oral health to pinpoint the source of your pain. In the 20 years that Dr. Brewer has been practicing, he’s found that non-invasive solutions are often the most effective for alleviating the painful symptoms of TMJ. These conservative methods may include medication therapy and techniques to reduce your general stress level.
Dr. Brewer may also prescribe a customized oral device that fits comfortably over your front teeth. The device is worn while you sleep and is designed to move the jaw forward, preventing the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact with each other. This helps to relieve jaw clenching, which can add to your painful symptoms.
In many cases, these methods are all that’s needed to provide relief. If they’re not effective, however, surgery may be necessary. In this case, we’ll refer you to a top oral surgeon in the Oak Ridge area. Dr. Brewer will continue to be part of the process, coordinating your care and working with the surgeon to make sure all your needs are met.
Call to Get the Relief You Need
There is no reason to allow the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder to disrupt your life. Our team members are dedicated to providing you with the most effective, up-to-date dental health solutions. We will take all the time necessary to work with you to find the treatment that best fits your needs and restores your quality of life.
Please call to arrange a complimentary consultation at our Oak Ridge dental office.