TMJ Disorder (TMD) can cause jaw pain, facial tension, headaches, and many other symptoms. The condition can have significant consequences for your overall quality of life. Fortunately, Dr. Stephen K. Malone and Dr. Michael J. Costa, Jr. offer effective and personalized TMJ treatment at their Knoxville, Tennessee practice. Oral splints are the most common method of treatment. However, there are several other options available. Our dentists will provide personalized treatment and choose the procedure that is most suited to your needs.
What is TMD?
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) come under tremendous daily stress. You do not only use them when you eat and speak. Your jaw also makes countless unconscious motions. If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding and/or clenching during sleep and/or under tension), you not only put stress on your teeth, you put stress on teeth roots, surrounding gum tissue and bone, and the muscles and ligaments of the jaw. The constant strain may cause inflammation in the nearby muscles and ligaments. It could also cause the soft disc inside your joints to slip out of place and cause injury to them over time. Therefore, you have a greater risk for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Bruxism frequently leads to a host of symptoms, including:
- Jaw pain
- Chronic headaches
- Jaw stiffness
- The inability to open or close your jaw all the way
- Ringing in your ears
- Neck and shoulder stiffness
How is TMD treated?
Before beginning treatment, Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa will conduct a complete examination, and you will discuss your symptoms. They will use panoramic x-rays to look for inflammation or bone damage, then make a personalized treatment recommendation. In most cases, the use of custom-made oral splints will alleviate your symptoms.
These devices will fit over your front teeth to realign your jaw and reduce pressure on the joints. In most cases, you will only need to wear your splint at night. However, if you have a severe case of TMD, your Knoxville Smiles dentist may recommend that you wear it during the day, as well.
While splints are the most common form of treatment, you may benefit from other procedures. Often TMD can result from dental misalignment. An imbalanced bite can put further pressure on your jaw, exacerbating your symptoms. Invisalign® or ClearCorrectTM clear aligners can be used to realign and rebalance your bite. Additionally, dental crowns can rebuild damaged or worn teeth to ensure even force and pressure across your dental arch. Finally, if you are missing teeth, dental bridges or implants will not only restore your smile, but they will also improve the balance of your bite and reduce the symptoms of TMJ Disorder.
Why do patients choose Knoxville Smiles for TMD treatment?
Dr. Malone and Dr. Costa have received extensive training at The Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education, and Dr. Malone teaches other dentists there, as a lead member of the visiting faculty. This renowned postgraduate training program is particularly well known for its in-depth courses on TMD diagnosis, treatment and bite alignment. Thanks to this education, Drs. Malone and Costa are an outstanding choice for your TMD treatment. Additionally, our advanced technology and caring staff will make your diagnosis accurate and treatment predictably successful.
Find TMD relief today!
TMD can cause serious discomfort, which will impact virtually all areas of your life. Left untreated, it can contribute to the need for extensive dentistry to restore damaged teeth. Find the relief you deserve with our dentists’ expert care. Contact our office today to schedule your TMD consultation. Drs. Malone and Costa provide expert, quality care to patients from Powell, Karns, Farragut, Seymour, Maryville, Oak Ridge and the surrounding areas.