TMJ Therapy New Bern, NC

New Bern, NC dentist Dr. Stephen Hoard is one of the most experienced dentists in North Carolina for treating TMJ disorders. He can access state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment in his New Bern dentist’s office to treat patients with high care and understanding. Treating TMJ disorders is a part of restorative dental treatment. TMJ treatment in New Bern, NC, can restore comfort and function to your mouth, face, jaw, and upper body. If you suffer from chronic headaches, jaw pain, and toothaches, you may have TMD.

TMJ Treatment in New Bern NC

What is TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD) affect millions of adults who often have unexplained toothaches, facial pain, and headaches. Commonly referred to by patients as “TMJ,” TMD is a complex group of disorders. The TMJ acts as a sliding hinge to help you bite and chew. Damage or stress to the TMJ can create painful symptoms affecting everyday comfort.

What Causes TMJ?

Stress to the TMJ, anxiety, arthritis, and other problems are common causes of TMD. Any condition that increases pressure on the teeth and jaw can contribute to a TMJ disorder.

There is no single approach to treating TMJ pain. Dr. Hoard believes in the most conservative, non-surgical treatment possible. Less than 3% of TMJ cases require surgery.

TMJ therapy may be as simple as wearing a splint or mouth guard. Others may require a bite adjustment using orthodontic treatment, dental crowns, or dental implants. This adjustment will change the timing and force of the bite.

In complex cases, Dr. Hoard may take an interdisciplinary approach, working with periodontist Dr. Jeffrey Thomas and orthodontist Dr. Todd Rankin. This collaboration between dentists helps restore health and proper alignment as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • Chronic headaches or migraine headaches
  • Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
  • Popping or clicking in the jaw joints
  • Tooth wear
  • Earaches

Don’t hesitate to contact our office when you notice pain in your jaw. TMD affects the upper body. Treatment requires comprehensive treatment, affecting the mouth, jaw, back, arms, and shoulders.

TMJ Treatment in New Bern, NC

TMJ disorders can put limits on your quality of life. Our mission is to provide patients with a caring environment where we can mutually discover the cause of their head, neck, and facial pain.

We provide patients with the most effective, non-surgical, and individualized treatment possible to relieve their discomfort. Combining experience and the latest technology, we are committed to restoring our patients’ quality of life.

Methods of TMJ treatment include:

Orthodontic Treatment

Fixing crooked teeth can reduce stress on the teeth and jaw. In turn, this can lessen symptoms like grinding teeth and jaw pain. Some patients benefit from treatments like braces to create an even bite.

However, we will not recommend treatments like Invisalign if patients have severe teeth clenching and grinding. Bruxism can damage the clear plastic aligners.

We often recommend metal braces if patients have moderate to severe bite problems. Straightening teeth creates a more even, healthy bite.

Restorative Dentistry

Sometimes, we recommend restorative dentistry to reshape or repair worn teeth. We may recommend dental implants if you have missing teeth that create a bite imbalance. Implants support crowns, bridges, and dentures to replace single missing teeth or full arches of missing teeth.

If you have worn or damaged teeth contributing to TMD, we may recommend treatments like crowns. Crowns are tooth-colored caps that fully cover and protect single teeth. A crown provides the durability needed to withstand the force of the bite.

We also recommend restorative treatments if you wear down your teeth due to teeth clenching and grinding. Treatments like crowns will prevent further wear to your natural teeth.

Night Guards

We can create custom TMJ night guards to protect teeth. If you clench and grind your teeth during sleep, you can wake up with morning headaches and jaw stiffness.

TMJ night guards typically use hard acrylic materials and cover the upper or lower teeth. We will first measure your bite before we provide your night guard. Measuring the bite force will help us determine which teeth bear the brunt of jaw pressure and wear.

Then, we will take dental impressions for your custom TMJ night guard. Technicians in a dental lab will create your night guard. Once complete, you will return to our office for a fitting. We ensure that the night guard is in line with your bite. Then, you will go home with your night guard and its case.

Wearing a TMJ night guard will prevent teeth from grinding together, preventing further tooth wear. The night guard will also help relax the jaw and prevent problems like chronic headaches and migraines.

Lifestyle Changes

At-home treatment for TMD can help keep symptoms under control. When you experience jaw pain, we recommend using a warm compress. A heating pad can help relax the muscles in the jaw to reduce jaw stiffness and pain.

Jaw exercises and relaxation techniques can also reduce jaw discomfort. To relax your jaw, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your upper teeth. If you notice yourself clenching your teeth, you can use this method to relax your jaw.

Visiting a physical therapist can also reduce TMD symptoms. A physical therapist can teach exercises that engage the arms, shoulders, and back muscles. Physical therapists also use heat and massage to reduce pain and inflammation.

If you clench and grind your teeth at night, your doctor may recommend muscle relaxants. Anti-anxiety medication may also help you relax and reduce clenching and grinding. Taking medications as prescribed may reduce morning headaches and tooth wear.

Contact Our Office

If you have unexplained head, neck, or face pain, contact New Bern, NC, dentist Dr. Hoard for TMJ therapy. Feel free to schedule a consultation and learn more about treatment options. TMJ treatment in Goldsboro and New Bern, NC, can treat painful symptoms and improve function.

Please let us know if you have any questions about treating TMJ disorders. We will be happy to help.