TMJ Treatment Durham, NC

At Oak Grove Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide a wide range of restorative dentistry options including treatment plans for TMJ disorders. The symptoms of TMJ disorders are not only painful but also may distract you from your everyday life. To help patients relieve their TMJ symptoms, we provide personalized treatment plans to address the underlying dental concerns that may be affecting your jaw health.

Dr. Erika Graham is your local restorative dentist in Durham, NC. She works with patients to determine which treatment plan will best meet their needs. Learn more about our available TMJ treatment options below.

TMJ Treatment in Durham, NC

TMJ Treatment in Durham, NC

Chronic jaw pain, tension headaches, earaches, and facial pain are all symptoms of TMJ disorders. If you suffer from any of these symptoms outside of the dentist’s office, make sure to mention this during your upcoming dentist appointment.

TMJ disorders occur when the temporomandibular joint of your jawbone becomes inflamed or injured. Often, TMJ disorders affect patients who have crooked teeth or have a history of teeth grinding. However, any additional pressure or tension held in your jawbone or dental structures may lead to a TMJ disorder.

The underlying cause of your TMJ disorder will determine which TMJ treatment plan is right for you.

Potential treatment options for TMJ disorders include:

  • Oral Appliance Therapy – Utilizing a custom night guard to hold your jawbone in a healthy resting position as you sleep, oral appliance therapy can be used to help patients with mild to moderate TMJ disorders.
  • Bite Correction – Our office may recommend orthodontic work for patients suffering from a misaligned bite pattern. By correcting your bite pattern, you can relieve pressure on your dental structures and reduce your risk of developing TMJ symptoms.
  • Tooth replacement – Missing teeth can also lead to an increased amount of tension on your jawbone. If a missing tooth is found to be the cause of your TMJ disorder, our office offers tooth replacement options like dental bridges and dental implants to replace your missing tooth and better support your jawbone during everyday activities like chewing or speaking.

Dr. Graham will evaluate your teeth, gums, and jawbone to find the underlying cause of your jawbone. Then, she will recommend the best treatment option for you and your TMJ disorder. The goal of TMJ treatment plans is to reduce the amount of symptoms you are experiencing and how often you experience them.

To manage jaw pain on a day-to-day basis, we recommend taking regular breaks throughout the day to stretch your jaw around and relax your facial muscles.

By being mindful of how much tension you are holding in your jaw, you can prevent symptom flare-ups from occurring. We also recommend patients leaving themselves reminders around their workspace or setting reminders on their phones to relax their jawbone throughout the day.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

How long does TMJ treatment take?

The typical duration of TMJ treatment for adults is between 18 months and 3 years.  Massaging of the jaw, neck stretches, and other stress-reduction activities can provide almost immediate relief. However, it could take a few weeks to a few months before you notice any significant improvement.

Can TMJ get worse if not treated?

Your jaw pain associated with TMJ could get worse if you don’t get treatment. TMJ is a  chronic syndrome so it may affect you on a daily basis. If you ignore your jaw pain, it will likely worsen and has a higher chance of becoming chronic.

How long does a TMJ injury last?

Depending on how serious the underlying problem is, TMJ symptoms might linger for a few days to a few weeks. Many TMJ conditions might continue for months or even years.

How long does it take to recover from TMJ surgery?

TMJ surgery requires a few days to a week for recovery. You should generally take about three days off from work, but be sure the time off is flexible in case you require more time. For a few weeks after surgery, we advise that you stick to a soft diet to alleviate sensitivity.

How long do TMJ issues last?

The length of time TMJ symptoms can range may persist for a few days to a few weeks. Some more severe forms of TMJ issues can persist for months or even years.

Can TMJ affect your eyes?

Pressure that accumulates behind the eye sockets may be a symptom of TMJ. Additionally, some users may encounter hazy vision. TMJ frequently results in tension headaches, which can aggravate eye strain and impaired vision.

Can TMJ affect your speech?

TMJ can cause your muscles to become tense and can also harm your teeth and joints. Your speech may become slurred and different sounds may be more difficult to pronounce due to TMJ.

Is TMJ permanent?

Fortunately, TMJ disorder can be treated. You can permanently heal it with the right care and treatment. Call our office today to schedule a consultation if you are concerned about your TMJ. We can help you through each step of treatment!

If you suffer from TMJ symptoms, please schedule an appointment with our office. Our experienced restorative dentist will help you address your symptoms and treat the underlying cause of them. We look forward to seeing you in our Durham, NC dentist office very soon.