TMJ

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Walls can help you have a healthier, more comfortable jaw.

Trouble with your jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.

Call Walls Dental Implant and Oral Surgical Arts Phone Number 209 522-9963 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Walls.

TMJ Treatment

There are various treatment options for TMJ that Dr. Walls can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Walls will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care combined with professional care.

The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasms and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying ice and heat
  • Exercising your jaw
  • Practicing good posture

Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night. It also helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw, and aids in disk repositioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day, or just at night, to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help protect tooth wear.

What about bite correction or surgery?

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options, such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring, are sometimes needed, but are reserved for severe cases. Dr. Walls does not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and non-reducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.

Is Your Jaw Clicking?

Our caring staff is here to help you if you have any questions.

Call us: 209 522-9963

Walls Dental Implant and Oral Surgical Arts

5 out of 5 stars based on 12 TMJ Disorders reviews

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Injections I received. I am 82 years old and I have NEVER been so Impressed with ANY Medical Specialist as I was with Dr. Walls! P.S.- His Assistants and Office Staff is Great also.

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Not that I want to return but if I have to I would request this office. Np pain and excellent results... TOP NOTCH!!!!!

- Coy C

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Excellent Doctor very caring and gentle.

- Cheryl R

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Had three teeth extracted and was very nervous of course but Dr. Wall and the staff chatted with me, played some classic rock music for me and just put me at ease. Had general anesthesia, went to sleep, woke up and extractions were complete. Other than a little numbness, absolutely no pain. Entire procedure took just shy of an hour. Will be making a future appointment to discuss dental implants. Great bunch of folks.

- Bill B

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Fabulous Doctor and staff!!!!

- Ginger Z

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I went in for a tooth extraction, never fun but necessary at times. Dr. Wall and his staff provided excellent patient care from the moment I walked in until I left, i felt safe and comfortable. On top of that the conversation was amazing, they Provide exceptional care!

- Karlie H

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Thank you doctor Walls and all staff for making my experience comfortable ! As a person with high anxiety when it comes to dental work I felt I was in great hands . I appreciated the friendly caring staff and Doctor Walls was very clear , detailed and answered all my questions. I will most definitely be coming back and highly recommend this practice . Thanks again !

- Joe A

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Dr. Walls and his staff were amazing. I have always been scared of anything dental related, but their kindness, patience, and overall professionalism made my experience very pleasant. Thank you everyone

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- Connie B

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I went into Dr. Walls office for the first time a few days ago having been in excruciating, constant pain for the entire 3 days prior to my visit. After being prescribed countless meds from a different Doctor ranging from mild muscle relaxers to highly potent pain killers, all of which didn’t help eliminate the pain. I went into Dr. Walls office desperate and still in high amounts of pain. After listening to my oral background history he quickly determined that the pain I was feeling on the entire left side of my face was due to a horrible cavity on my wisdom tooth. I was then prepped and the tooth was extracted no more than 30 minutes after determining the problem (pain free extraction by the way) and I left his office feeling like a new man. I would recommend Dr. Wall to anyone looking for a new oral surgeon.

- Roman C

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Amazing. I went in today for wisdom teeth extraction. You hear the horror stories about wisdom teeth so I was mentally ready for an uncomfortable experience. I was given laughing gas for the procedure. It was the QUICKEST, most PAINLESS procedure I have ever gone through. Dr. Walls and his staff are friendly and professional. If you are looking for an oral surgeon, you have found him here.

- Anabel G

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I'm 66 years old and like most people I hate to go to the dentist. I have been to many, many in my life time. I can truly say this was the best experience I have ever had. My anxiety level was minimal because of the caring personnel and the Doctor. He was thorough, was not pushy and he even played Willy Nelson music for me. I would highly recommend Dr. Walls! You would not be disappointed!

- Emily M

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