The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, can cause issues when it is damaged or under stress. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is often categorized as dysfunction in the jaw joints that can cause pain and tension in the face and jaw. TMD can be caused by misaligned teeth, dental trauma, or bite disorders.
Dr. Elizabeth Duling offers TMD treatment for patients in and around Owens Cross Roads, AL. She helps patients target areas of tension or pain and can create a custom treatment plan. Thoroughly examining the dental structure and jawbone with x-rays and digital imaging provides a more accurate diagnosis and precise care.
What To Expect
When you visit Dr. Duling to treat your TMD disorder, she will first examine your jaw joints and the muscles of your face. This allows her to find key areas of wear or discomfort. She will also ask questions about how you sleep and where you feel TMD pain. By thoroughly understanding how your TMD symptoms manifest, Dr. Duling will be able to plan customized treatment based on your needs.
Dr. Duling will not immediately recommend procedures without a thorough examination. She wants to target problems specific to your case of TMD.
Watch this video below to learn from Dr. Duling herself about how she helps patients with TMD:
Common Symptoms of TMD
TMD can manifest through:
- Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
- Jaw or facial pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth wear
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Restricted jaw mobility
If you have one or more of these symptoms, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder. Please contact our office for a dental consultation. Dr. Duling or a member of her dental team will take x-rays and examine your teeth and gums to determine the best treatment for your specific needs. They can provide restorative dental treatment to protect the health and appearance of your teeth and gums.
Treatments for TMD
Dr. Duling helps patients treat their TMD with oral appliances and Botox:
- Oral Appliances: Custom oral appliances act like mouthguards and are worn at night to stop teeth clenching and grinding. Also known as bruxism, teeth clenching and grinding is a common symptom of TMD that wears down the teeth and causes pain in the jaw and face. Oral appliances prevent bruxism and relieve pain caused by this TMD symptom.
- Botox: Many patients may not realize that Botox can be used to treat dental problems. Botox is a neurotoxin that relaxes the facial muscles and can relieve pain caused by muscle tension. Patients with TMD who have headaches or tension in their face can receive Botox to target their symptoms.
FAQs for TMJ Treatment
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
TMJ can interrupt your life in many ways. It can be very painful, cause major headaches, cause damage to the joints, and wear down your teeth. Many people with TMJ problems have problems sleeping. The chronic pain can lead to depression and anxiety. When left untreated, these things affect your overall quality of life.
What is an oral appliance for TMJ?
A TMJ oral appliance is a custom made device that will fit snuggly over your teeth. It it commonly used for people who grind their teeth or clench their jaw. Wearing one will reduce the wear and tear on your teeth when you grind or clench. This can prevent damage to your teeth and gums. It will also release some of the tension placed on the jaw joints.
Can Botox help with my TMJ?
Studies have proven that Botox can help manage pain associated with TMJ problems. More and more dentists now offer this facial filler to treat patients who show signs of TMD. Botox injections will decrease the amount of pain the patient is in and help increase mouth movement.
Call Our Dental Office Today
Do you suffer from jaw or tooth pain? Are you looking for a treatment to assuage painful symptoms of TMD? Call Dr. Duling at 256.202.4186 or request a dental appointment with her on our website. Please let Dr. Duling know if you have any questions about your symptoms or options for treatment. She will help explain every step of the treatment process.