TMJ Treatment / Teeth Grinding

TMJ and Bruxism Treatment | Lexington, KY

If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, neck, face, or head, you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. This is a common problem that plagues many of our patients. The good news is that we can help. Let’s talk about what TMJ Treatment our Lexington, KY practice here in Beaumont Family Dentistry can do to help.

What is TMJ/TMD?

In 2006 I suffered nerve damage to my face that became excruciatingly painful and I tried everything. I tried multiple doctors, I tried a pain clinic, I tried even a brain surgeon. The answers I kept getting from everybody was, there’s nothing else we can do for you. For the next 6 years I really just kind of suffered through this awful, excruciating, burning pain in my face. I came in one day just to get a filling fixed, I think, and Dr. Takacs mentioned the TruDenta program, that it was getting ready to start here and she asked if I was interested in trying it. At that point I thought, “I really have nothing to lose at this point.”

I came in once a week for about 12 weeks and it involved measuring my range of motion in my jaw and my neck. Every week we tested that, we also looked at my bite, analyzed where some problem areas were that could be causing me to tense up and maybe make the pain worse. Joy was able to do a series of therapy every week that started with cold laser, ultrasound therapy, as well as message and TENS unit. The combination of all four of those, as well as some essential oils, lotions, that she uses. I don’t know why it works but at the end of those 12 weeks, my pain went from about a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10, to about a one.

During TruDenta it was great. Joy, Shawna, and even Dr. Takacs, they really became my friends through the whole process, not just my doctor and staff. I looked forward to coming in every week, they took really good care of me. Since TruDenta, it’s bee about three years, and I’ve been pretty much pain free. I’ve been able to read again and I actually now get paid to read and write reviews for a popular magazine. They not only took my pain level down to where it was completely manageable but they also gave me my dream job.

If you are experiencing this type of jaw pain, you are probably suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is your jaw joint. For various reasons, this joint can become irritated and cause considerable pain and other problems. Some common symptoms of TMD include:

  • pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • difficulty chewing
  • facial aches
  • aches in and around your ear
  • lockjaw
  • biting or clenching of the jaw (bruxism)
  • chronic headaches or migraines

A lot of people call it TMJ. It’s actually TMD, which is temporomandibular joint disorder. There’s a wide variety of diagnosis that fall into that, but that has definitely become a very strong passion for Dr. Takacs, and she spent a lot of time and energy toward educating herself to help patients with those disorders because a lot of times you have patients who have gone to neurologists, to pain specialists, and are at their wits end on what to do because they’re having this pain. She’s had great success with the education that she’s provided for herself and giving aid and helped those patients.

It’s a very involved process. She’s had patients who’ve come back to her just weeping because they’ve spent years having pain, and she’s been able to do very noninvasive techniques to help them get to a place where they’re no longer in pain, which to me is pretty amazing.

TMD occurs when the disk in the joint erodes away or is moved out of alignment, the cartilage is damaged by arthritis, or the joint itself is injured. Oftentimes, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of the dysfunction. However, our team will do whatever we can to find and eliminate the source of your pain.

While TMJ dysfunction can affect anyone, it is most commonly found in women between the ages of 20 and 40. If you fall into this category and are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should see one of our doctors as soon as possible.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is often linked to TMJ dysfunction. Bruxism is the involuntary teeth grinding or clenching of the teeth. This typically occurs at night, but can also happen during the day while working, watching TV, or doing other activities. Bruxism can actually cause jaw pain, or can be the result of TMJ dysfunction. Teeth grinding and clenching can also cause damage to your teeth, as the added pressure will wear them down or even break them over time.

How can it be treated?

Oftentimes, mild TMJ issues can be treated with a teeth grinding mouthguard. The guard is designed to be worn at night. The guard temporarily adjusts the position of the jaw in order to take pressure off the joint. It also serves to protect the teeth from wearing down due to grinding and clenching. This kind of therapy is sometimes enough to solve mild dysfunction.

However, if the case is more severe, our office utilizes a system called TruDenta®. TruDenta® Rehabilitation Therapy uses four types of treatment to attack the problem from all angles and eliminate pain. The therapy uses a combination of in-office treatment, at-home treatment, orthotic appliances (mouthguards), and force balancing to create the desired results. We are often very successful with this method of treatment – our patients are pain free and able to go about their lives. To learn more about our TruDenta® Rehabilitation Therapy, see our page on headache and migraine solutions.

How can I make an appointment?

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of TMD listed above, please schedule an appointment with our office for TMJ treatment. At Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington, KY, we have special office space for diagnosing and treating TMJ problems, the TMJ And Sleep Dentistry Center of Central Kentucky, LLC. We would be happy to help eliminate your pain and discomfort. To make an appointment, call one of our convenient locations or use our online form to send us a message. Let us help you feel better.

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