TMJ & Facial Pain Center, P.A. (361) 992-1441
TMJ & Facial Pain Center, P.A.(361) 992-1441

TMJ Disorders

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.

Symptoms

  • Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Dull, aching pain in the face
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. Your dentist can help indicate the presence of TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.

There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMD from becoming more severe, or to prevent it from occurring:

  • Relax your face — remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid constant gum chewing
  • Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared

Treatment Options

Phase 1 - Attempts to break the cycle of muscle spasms thereby relieving pain and producing an acceptable physiological relationship between the maxilla and mandible. Treatments can include:

  • Use of an intra-oral orthodontic or splint
  • Anti-inflamatory medications
  • Stress management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Muscle Relaxants
  • Manipulative treatments
  • Myofacial Release

Phase 2 - Attempts through more permanent means of treatment may include:

  • Adjustments of dental occlusion
  • Orthodontics
  • Reconstruction of teeth
  • Orthognathic surgery (Surgical relocation of teeth or jaw)
  • Replacement of missing teeth
  • Surgery on TMJ itself ( Last resort)

Dr. Curtis treats patients non-surgically for TMJ disorders, headaches, and facial pain.

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