TMJ/TMD Treatment
in Gilbert, AZ

Jaw clicking, soreness, or tension can compromise your comfort and keep you from chewing with natural ease. This pain often stems from TMJ/TMD, a jaw disorder that can be resolved with a variety of minimally invasive, tailored treatments. Find relief with solutions from your dentist today.

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What Is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ Disorder or Dysfunction, also referred to as TMD, is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint is responsible for gliding and sliding motions of the jaw that helps you speak, eat and make facial expressions. 

While no specific cause of TMD is known, it is closely associated with arthritis, bruxism, a misaligned bite, or an injury to the jaw which causes dysfunction in the jaw joint, leading to mobility issues and jaw pain. Contact us at Dentistry of Gilbert to schedule a consultation.

Did you know…

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Many patients who have TMD also grind their teeth.

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Night/Occlusal Guard

An occlusal or night guard is a plastic mouthguard that you wear when you sleep to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ Disorders and to reduce teeth grinding. The mouthguard is fabricated after taking impressions of your mouth that are sent to a special dental lab. 

Using these impressions, the mouthguard will be custom-fit to your mouth so that it fits snugly and comfortably and cushions your teeth. A mouthguard can offer relief to a misaligned bite or patients who grind their teeth at night by cushioning the teeth to prevent damage. 

It also prevents jaw strain from clenching when you sleep. This is done by realigning the jaw and raising your bite. This not only reduces pain in your teeth and jaw but also reduces headaches, facial pain, earaches, tinnitus, and popping sounds when you open your mouth. 

Night/Occlusal Guard

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The TMJ Treatment Process

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Dr. Chow will examine your teeth and gums to rule out other oral health problems. TMJ disorders can be diagnosed by performing an oral exam and taking x-rays to look for inflamed tissues, and by assessing your symptoms.

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Impressions will be taken of your mouth and sent to an outside dental lab that is in charge of fabricating your custom mouthguard. By taking impressions, we can ensure a perfect fit over your teeth that isn’t too loose or too tight.

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Guard Fabrication

It can take a few weeks to fabricate your mouthguard.

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Pick Up Nightguard

Once your mouthguard is ready and has arrived at our office, we will give you a call to come in and pick it up. You can begin treatment right away by wearing it to sleep each night.

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Mouthguards are subject to wear and tear so you will need to replace them over time. You should attend regular checkups and bring your mouthguard so we can check on its condition and let you know if it needs to be replaced. We will reassess your symptoms in a future appointment to check for improvements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

TMD can cause a lot of discomforts such as mobility problems and pain. Pain is most commonly felt in the jaw due to jaw strain but the pain can often radiate through the face, ears, neck, and shoulders. 

Patients with TMD often experience frequent headaches and may even experience ringing in the ears. It is typically difficult to open the mouth very wide and when patients do open their mouth, they can hear clicking or popping sounds. 

Some patients experience lockjaw, meaning that their jaw locks up when they open or close their mouth and it is very difficult to open or close it. Patients tend to experience more discomfort and jaw immobility when chewing. When TMD affects the ears, it can also cause dizziness.

There are many mysteries we don’t quite know about TMJ Disorder, which is why it’s important to ask your doctor as many questions as you can. While we don’t know a specific cause of TMD, we know plenty about the effective ways to diagnose and treat it. 

You should start by asking your doctor how you can know if you have TMD and what the various methods of treatment are. Ask your doctor how you should proceed if your symptoms don’t improve after wearing a mouthguard. 

You should also ask if there are any other lifestyle changes or habits you can engage in at home that will improve your TMD. Ask your doctor why it’s so important to treat TMD and what complications can occur if you don’t. Don’t forget to ask why your doctor is qualified to treat TMD and ask to see what credentials they have.

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