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TMJ/TMD Therapy Restores Comfort and Function to Your Jaw

Your TMJ (temporomandibular joints) may be small, but they have the all-too important purpose of connecting your jaw to the skull, facilitating essential movements like speaking and chewing. Unfortunately, a wide range of sources can throw the system off-balance, resulting in chronic pain and aggravation. At Delmarva Sedation Dentistry, Dr. Edward Dougherty is familiar with the trials of TMJ dysfunction (also known as “TMD”), and our team offers effective therapy options that can help you finally regain a higher quality of life that’s pain-free. Contact our Ocean City, MD location today to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions we can help you with.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you experience headaches, dizziness, neck pain, ringing in the ears, or jaw clicking, you may suffer from TMJ dysfunction. The temporomandibular joints, which allow you to open and close your mouth, can become misaligned due to stress, natural forces, injury, or other factors. When these joints do not function properly, the associated muscles and nerves can become irritated. This can lead to pain, teeth grinding, and muscle fatigue.

Additional symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Dizziness and tingling in the extremities
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

After your complete evaluation, Dr. Dougherty can recommend non-surgical TMJ treatment that will alleviate your symptoms and correct the problem. TMJ therapy may include fitting you with an oral appliance to balance your bite and prevent unconscious muscle clenching. Dr. Dougherty sometimes recommends building up the teeth with dental restorations to correct the bite. He may also suggest jaw exercises, moist heat, or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, which all can help control irritation and promote healing.

Occlusal Adjustments

If your bite is unstable or actively misaligned, an occlusal adjustment may be the best method for restoring harmony to your overall smile. Dr. Dougherty will use common restorative services to carefully adjust the shape of certain teeth that are currently interfering with your bite. Once the bite is adjusted, it should feel much more comfortable and stable overall!

Occlusal Splints

Occlusal splints (also known as oral appliances) can provide effective assistance for promoting oral comfort as well! Your new splint will likely be designed so that when it is worn, it will create a more proper resting position for your jaw and prevent the involuntary muscle spasms that can cause fatigue in the face. Over time, the diligent use of an oral splint can even create long-term improvement for the jaw joints.

TENS Machine Treatment

Our TENS machine can provide vital relief from the chronic discomfort of TMJ dysfunction! After our team has attached electrodes to the skin, low-frequency nerve stimulation will occur and cause the muscles to relax into their most optimal resting position. Patients should feel like they’ve just received a massage. While some people can have their TMJ pain fully treated by regular exposure to TENS therapy, most will require additional treatment, such as an occlusal splint.