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TMJ Treatment – Fresno, CA

In Severe Jaw Pain? We Can Help!

Woman in need of T M J therapy holding jaw in pain

If you place your fingers right in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel your temporomandibular joints, also known as the TMJs. These key joints anchor your lower jaw to the rest of your skull and allow it to perform the movements necessary for speaking and eating. However, even a small amount of stress can end up throwing off the balance of your TMJs, leading to the very painful TMJ disorder (TMD). If you keep waking up with jaw pain every day, call our dental office to schedule a consultation; if Dr. Byron L. Reintjes determines that you’re suffering from TMJ disorder, he can help you find a solution so that you can get back to enjoying life free of discomfort thanks to TMJ treatment in Fresno, CA.

Why Choose the Fresno Family Dental Office of Byron L. Reintjes, DDS for TMJ Treatment?

  • State-of-the-Art CT/Cone Beam Scanning Technology
  • Digital Impressions for Custom-Fit Occlusal Splints
  • Caring Dentist with Three Decades of Experience

What Is TMJ Disorder?

dentist showing a patient an X-ray of their jaw

The joint that connects your jaw to your skull is incredibly delicate and complex. Unfortunately, because it is also one of the most frequently used joints in the human body, any problem in the TMJ or its surrounding tissues can cause a great deal of severe, lingering discomfort.

TMJ disorder can develop for a variety of reasons, including injury to the face, stress, bruxism (chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching), bite misalignment, and even the onset of arthritis. However, in some situations, the exact cause of TMD remains unknown.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

man with pain radiating from his jaw joints

While pain and soreness in the jaw is one of the most common symptoms of TMD, it can cause several additional symptoms. For example, you may have TMD if you experience:

  • Clicking or popping sounds when moving your jaw.
  • Ringing and/or pain in your ears.
  • Pain in your temples, shoulders, upper back, and other nearby areas of your body.
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
  • Frequent headaches or migraines.
  • Difficulty chewing.

Types of TMJ Treatment

Dentist reviewing digital x-rays during T M Jdiagnosis and treatment planning

If you’ve been experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms of TMD, seeking a professional opinion is important for receiving the relief you need. Dr. Reintjes will talk to you about your symptoms, examine your bite, and perform additional diagnostic procedures (such as a CT/ cone beam scan) to determine the cause of your discomfort. If it is TMD, that’s actually good news — getting a proper diagnosis is a big step in the right direction. Once we’ve identified the problem, we can treat the issue with one or more of the following methods.

Occlusal Splints

Hand holding an acclusal splint

If a misaligned bite is to blame for your TMD symptoms, then your dentist in Fresno, CA may recommend an occlusal splint. This personalized appliance can gradually adjust the jaw joints to ensure they work smoothly when you open and close your mouth. Most occlusal splints are worn at night while you sleep, repositioning the alignment of your jaw over time. The splints can also cushion the tooth enamel to protect it from nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching that often occurs alongside TMD.

Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustment

Model of jaw and skull bone to plan occlusal adjustment

When your upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly, the jaw joints incur stress every time you open and close your mouth. Improving the alignment of the bite through equilibration or occlusal adjustments can help both of your jaws function smoothly, which can greatly reduce your TMJ pain. Treatment may include adjusting tooth enamel, repositioning restorations like crowns, or even removing teeth to achieve a properly aligned bite.

Treatment with a TENS Machine

TENS treatment system

To ease the discomfort caused by TMD while also reducing the activity that causes tension in the jaw muscles, Dr. Reintjes may use a TENS machine. This device (whose name stands for “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation”) sends tiny, painless electrical impulses directly beneath the skin, calming the muscles that habitually contract and cause discomfort. It’s like a self-massage for your jaw, providing you with serious relief from TMD-related pain.