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TMJ Treatment – Landrum, SC

Find Relief from Persistent Jaw Pain

Are you often bothered by an ache in your jaw? Is it sometimes difficult for you to chew certain foods? Do you have frequent headaches? It is possible that you are suffering from TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. We invite you to come in for a consultation with our Landrum dental team. Dr. Moneyhun can evaluate the situation and recommend your next steps. Our goal is to help you find relief from persistent jaw pain!

Why Choose Parkside Dental for TMJ Treatment?

  • Conservative & Effective Treatment Options
  • Gentle & Caring Team
  • Relief from Jaw Pain & Headaches

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Illustration of skull with TMJ highlighted

TMJ disorder may also be called TMJ dysfunction or TMD. It is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the hinges in front of your ears that connect your mandible (lower jaw) to the rest of your skull. The TMJ plays an important role in eating, speaking, and other essential oral functions.

When your TMJ becomes stressed, injured, or overworked, it can cause the symptoms that are commonly associated with TMD.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Woman with jaw pain, suffering symptoms of TMD

TMD can cause many different symptoms. Some of the most common include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the jaw and surrounding facial muscles
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • The sensation of lockjaw
  • Popping and clicking in the jaw when opening and closing the mouth
  • Earaches
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Pain in the neck and back
  • Difficulty and pain while chewing
  • Limited range of movement for the mouth
  • Changes in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together

Types of TMJ Treatment

Dentist and patient discussing treatment options

During your exam, Dr. Moneyhun will learn about your symptoms and seek to identify the root cause of your problem, which could stem from a range of factors, such as a misaligned bite, stress, or something else. After his evaluation, Dr. Moneyhun will be able to recommend your next steps. He might advise you to use a custom occlusal splint or undergo a procedure known as equilibration.

Occlusal Splint

Gloved hands holding occlusal splint

An occlusal splint resembles a mouthguard. Its job is to prevent grinding and clenching of the teeth and encourage relaxation of the TMJ and surrounding muscles. If you consistently use an occlusal splint each night, you may soon notice a reduction in painful symptoms.

Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustment

Smiling dental patient reclining in treatment chair

Sometimes, the upper and lower teeth do not fit together exactly right. That can place stress on the TMJ. In some cases, this issue can be addressed by making small alterations to a patient’s teeth or restorations. Once the teeth are able to work harmoniously together, it can relieve tension in the facial muscles and jaw joint.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

Can TMJ Be Cured Permanently?

While TMJ symptoms can sometimes fade on their own over time, you can’t always count on this happening. If you find that your TMJ symptoms are bothering you persistently, it’s usually worth investigating methods for treating the condition long-term.

At Parkside Dental, we tend to focus on treatments that provide long-term relief for TMJ symptoms by addressing their underlying cause. Occlusal splints and equilibration treatments are methods we use to address the misalignment of the jaw, providing you with permanent relief from your symptoms.

Is TMJ Treatment Safe?

So long as you receive treatment from a qualified professional, you can expect your TMJ treatment to be completely safe. We make it a point to offer the most minimally invasive treatment possible to address your issue, meaning that we’ll usually recommend mouthpieces or minor adjustments to the teeth over surgery whenever possible.

However, even in the case of more extensive treatments, you can be sure that we’ll take note of any risks associated with the procedure and will ensure that you’re completely safe.

How Long Does TMJ Treatment Take?

As you can imagine, the amount of time it will take to feel relief from your TMJ symptoms depends on the style of treatment you’re using, along with the cause and severity of your TMJ disorder.

Occlusal splints are typically worn each night for anywhere for a few weeks to several months before experiencing relief. While this can take a while, this treatment could address your issues for a lifetime.

Equilibration/occlusal adjustments vary a bit in how quickly they’re able to bring relief. Depending on the changes that need to be made, however, you can often expect relief very quickly after the treatment is complete.

Is TMJ Treatment Covered by Insurance?

This question is a little bit complicated—depending on the cause of your TMJ disorder and how you treat it, your procedure could be covered by either medical or dental insurance. This has to do with the fact that TMJ aren’t necessarily exclusively within the purview of dentistry, but many of the treatments that address the issue can only be performed by dentists.

In some cases, TMJ may even be specifically excluded from what an insurance plan will cover, though this is usually only when such exclusions are specifically mandated by the state. For these reasons, it’s critically important that you consult closely with both your medical and dental plan before undergoing TMJ therapy.

Outside view of dental office