What if you could go about your day without a headache? What if you could chew food comfortably like you used to, or banish that annoying popping sound right next to your ear whenever you open your mouth?
If you’ve been living with any of the conditions described above, you may have temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana, those fantasies of having a healthy, pain-free jaw can quickly become a reality.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint connecting your jaw bone to your skull. When the joint becomes swollen or loose in the socket, it is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder—otherwise known as TMJ disorder or TMD.
This condition can be caused by a direct blow to the face, but if that hasn’t happened to you, your TMD might be caused by an undiagnosed sleeping disorder.
Knowing the underlying cause of your TMD is crucial for your doctor to know how to treat it. If you suspect you might have TMD, set up an appointment with us to take our sleep test.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
If you’re not sure if you have TMD, here are some symptoms of the condition to look out for:
- Bruxism: The clenching or grinding of teeth.
- Jaw pain: Especially at or around the temporomandibular joint.
- Popping: Listen for popping or clicking when you open or close your jaw.
- Jaw restriction: It can be difficult or painful to open your jaw.
- Ringing ears: Ringing ears or ear pain are common as your TMJ is so close to your ear.
- Locking jaw: Your jaw may catch when you move it.
- Pain: Pain might not be restricted to your jaw, but may be in your neck or back as well.
- Difficulty chewing: A sore jaw can make for painful chewing and swallowing.
- Headaches: Jaw pain can lead to severe headaches.
- Nerve pain: This will occur particularly frequently in your face.
If any of these symptoms sounds familiar to you, take the quiz below to determine how likely it is you have TMD.
Do I Have TMD?
If you suspect you have TMD, please take the following quiz to help you determine whether to seek TMJ treatment.
If more than 4 of your answers were often, frequently, very frequently, or yes, we advise that you give our office a call.
Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder
Depending on the severity of your temporomandibular joint dysfunction, our TMJ bite splint might be best for you. This bite splint holds your jaw in place, preventing movement during sleep.
Like wearing a cast for a broken arm, the splint holds your jaw in a healthy position to give it time to heal.
Benefits of TMD/TMJ Treatment
We want to help you get rid of migraines, jaw and facial pain, and grinding teeth. These symptoms can really interfere with your daily life and we are here to help you restore your jaw to its best state.
We are a local office, and are especially accessible to patients from Helena and Great Falls. Our bite splints help prevent jaw grinding which is a very common side-effect of TMJ dysfunction. They are portable, comfortable, and easy to take care of.
Get in touch with us today so we can help you live without pain again.
Aren’t TMD and TMJ the Same Thing?
No, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint itself, which is the joint where your jaw meets your skull. Everyone has a TMJ.
When you have a problem with that joint, it is called TMD, which means temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder.
Sometimes TMD and TMJ are used interchangeably, or you might see TMD called “TMJ dysfunction.” Similarly, you might see the phrase “TMJ symptoms” used, which means the same thing as TMD symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
Like any disorder, symptoms of TMD are different for everyone. Some people only have a jaw that pops and the occasional headache. Others have chronic migraines and difficulty eating. Other symptoms include:
- Earache or ringing ears.
- Jaw or facial pain.
- Stiff neck or shoulders.
- Lessened jaw mobility.
- Sensitive or loose teeth.
- Sleeping trouble.
You don’t have to live with these symptoms! Visit TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana today so you don’t have to live off of ibuprofen any longer.
What Makes Your Treatment Unique?
The bite guard we offer will be individually designed to fit your mouth. The construction of this orthodontia was designed based on the only bite technique that is peer-reviewed, which will help your jaw heal in the best way possible.
Our appliances are worn for a measly 12 weeks (three months), which is not long when your long-term health and comfort is in question.
Why Do I Have to Wear Two Different Appliances Day and Night?
Our bodies, and our mouths, do not function the same during day and night. During the day, we are eating, talking, laughing, and swallowing. The daytime appliances are designed to heal your jaw while you go about your day as normal.
At night, because you’re unconscious, you cannot control your mouth or jaw. Our nighttime bite guard provides support for your jaw to prevent grinding, or other events that could potentially harm your TDJ.
Do I Have to Wear My Appliance During Meals?
The daytime orthotic is designed specifically to provide support during normal daily activities like eating. It’s important to continue wearing your appliance because when you have TMD, the movements you make while you eat can aggravate the temporomandibular joint and slow the healing process.
It’s like wearing a brace to support your sprained ankle. The more you wear it, the better—and faster—your results will be.
Are TMJ Specialists Doctors or Dentists?
Dr. VanDyke and her contemporaries are dentists. Because TMD can be so painful, it is important to find a doctor who has the proper education and experience so they can help you alleviate that pain as quickly as possible.
Dr. VanDyke is triple-board certified and is a Diplomate in CranioFacial Pain (American Board of CranioFacial Pain), and Dental Sleep Medicine (American Board of CranioFacial Sleep Medicine). She comes from a line of medical professionals, and has dedicated her life to studying how to treat TMJ.
To make an appointment for TMJ treatment with Dr. VanDyke, give us a call today.
Talk to a TMJ Professional
It’s in the name: TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana. We focus specifically on TMJ and other sleep disorders. Our team is led by triple-boarded Dr. Schuyler VanDyke! She is board certified and has earned Diplomate status with several organizations, and she is also involved many other professional organizations, including the following:
Dr. VanDyke is excited to meet you and do everything in her power to get you the quality of life you want and deserve. Set up a free phone consultation to get started.