TMD therapy relieves pain Columbia, MO

Do you suffer from pain in your jaw joint? Clicking or popping sounds? A feeling that your bite is off? If so, you may be one of the millions that suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD. At the dental practice of Chase Patton, DDS, we offer effective TMD therapy to help get you out of pain and back to your normal life.

What are TMJ disorders?

TMJ disorders occur when either your TMJs or the muscles surrounding them become damaged or inflamed. This can happen for several reasons because the TMJs are among the most complex joints in the body: whereas most joints only move in one direction, such as side-to-side, up and down, or back-to-front, the TMJs move in all of these directions! In addition, chewing your food places a large amount of force on the joints with each bite, and if they are out of alignment or irritated, it can become quite painful and affect your quality of life.

Symptoms of TMD include:

  • Clicking or popping in your jaw
  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw, neck, ears, or shoulders
  • Swelling in your cheeks or jaw area
  • The feeling of a locked jaw, either in the open or closed position
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Inability to open your jaw wide
  • The feeling that your bite is “off” or discomfort chewing

TMJ/TMD treatment options

The first step in treating TMD is a thorough evaluation by a qualified provider who can diagnose the condition and identify its underlying cause, which can range from simple habits like chewing gum or bad posture to more advanced issues such as structural problems with the joints. Based on what is causing your symptoms, one or more of the following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as practicing good posture and taking active steps to reduce stress
  • Medications to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation and stress
  • A custom designed bite splint to wear while you sleep if clenching and grinding your teeth is an issue
  • Replacing worn-out dental work and undergoing other restorative or orthodontic treatments to adjust the way your teeth bite together
  • Surgery may be recommended if other options have not worked or the underlying cause is due to a physical problem with the joints, such as the existence of scar tissue or the joint itself has worn down

TMD pain relief is a phone call away

If you have one or more symptoms of TMD but have been discouraged by other dentists or doctors who cannot diagnose the underlying cause, Dr. Chase Patton is here to help you determine the source of your pain and provide recommendations for relief. To schedule a consultation and evaluation, call our Columbia, MO dental practice today at (573) 875-7040.