TMJ Therapy in Atlanta, GA
What Is TMJ?
Your jaws pop and click when you open them. You can feel that the sides of your face are sore, achy and easily tired. You may even experience facial pain that makes chewing challenging. Welcome to life with a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This condition impacts around 12 percent of Americans at any given time and while many cases resolve on their own, there are moments where you might need to turn to our Atlanta, GA, dentist Dr. Janet Kearns for treatment.
For many people, their teeth grinding and jaw clenching comes from bouts of high stress. This can cause a person to grind their teeth while they sleep, waking up with sore jaws and sometimes even headaches. Once the stress is alleviated, often times this problem is, too; however, for those people who experience bouts of TMJ, simple self-care measures are often effective enough. This means finding outlets for your stress such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing, while also massaging the jaw joints, avoiding extreme jaw movements and applying ice or moist heat to the face to soothe symptoms.
Turn to a Dental Professional
If you find that self-care practices aren’t enough to manage your symptoms, then it’s probably time that you turned to our dental team here in Atlanta for further evaluation. Based on your oral examination, we can determine if orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct a poor bite that could be resulting in your TMJ disorder. In some cases, surgical interventions are needed to replace the jaw joint disc. However, most people with TMJ can benefit from a custom night guard.
A TMJ Night Guard
In order for this night guard to provide your teeth and jaws with ample protection while you sleep, it will need to be custom-fitted to your mouth. This is something that only a specialized dentist, such as ours, can do for you. A drugstore nightguard will not provide you with the same results, and can often make symptoms worse. Our custom-fitted nightguard is designed to tackle the specific type of TMJ disorder you’re dealing with.
While these nightguards are often enough to control the pain, sometimes people can benefit from combining nightguard usage with other treatments such as Botox (which is FDA approved for treating TMJ disorder-related jaw pain), cold laser therapy, hot-cold therapy and certain types of massage therapy. Dr. Kearns and her team can talk to you about your different TMJ treatment options to help you decide which ones are right for you.