TMJ & Bruxism Treatment in Brentwood, TN

Do you experience jaw joint pain or trouble opening and closing your mouth? Do you wake up with pain in your head, neck, shoulders, or all three?

These are signs of a problem with your temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Fortunately, Dr. Haley E. Schmitt offers patients in the Nashville metro area relief for TMJ pain and problems that can take over their lives.

TMJ brentwood tnThe movement of your lower jaw is controlled by the jaw joints on either side of the head. The TMJs are in near-constant use because they allow you to open and close your mouth when you eat, speak, or yawn. Because of the stress placed on them, it’s common for jaw joints and surrounding muscles to become sore and overworked. 

When this dysfunction affects the TMJs, it’s called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

The most common signs of TMD include:

  • Popping or clicking noises in the jaw
  • Sore, tender TMJ muscles
  • Pain in the neck, back, or shoulders
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Trouble opening or closing the mouth
  • Jaw locked open or closed

Since the TMJs are complex joints, it's often challenging to pinpoint a specific cause for TMD. However, one common culprit is bruxism, or teeth grinding that occurs during sleep. Or, the cause may be as easy to resolve as a “high” restoration, such as a dental crown, that interferes with the way the dental bite functions.

The force of grinding and clenching places stress on the jaw joints, causing pain and tooth wear. An unbalanced or uneven dental bite can also cause TMJ problems as the jaw joint constantly adjusts itself as it tries to align the upper and lower jaw.

TMJ Treatment and Pain Relief in Nashville, TN

When approaching TMJ treatment, Dr. Schmitt’s goal is to decrease pain and restore normal chewing and jaw function and range of motion. Some of the methods she uses to screen patients for TMJ disorder are:

  • Tests for tenderness and pain by using her fingers to apply slight pressure to the TMJ 
  • Asks you to open and close your mouth and listens for popping and clicking sounds
  • Checks your dental bite and inside your mouth for signs of grinding and clenching, such as worn or broken teeth

If Dr. Schmitt finds evidence of TMJ disorder, she will also recommend x-rays to view the jaw joint.

How We Treat TMJ Pain and Disorders

bruxism treatment brentwood tnTMJ treatment for patients in Brentwood, TN, commonly involves a comfortable, custom-made occlusal splint worn during sleep. It protects teeth from harmful grinding habits and guides the movement of the jaw so it can rest and heal. 

Other TMJ therapies to minimize the stress contributing to bruxism include yoga, meditation, and muscle relaxants. Physical therapy is another approach that many people find helpful.

BOTOX® for TMJ Pain, Headaches, and Migraines

BOTOX® is a very effective treatment that provides relief for many patients who suffer from TMJ pain, facial pain, and headaches and migraines. Dr. Schmitt places BOTOX injections at strategic trigger points around the jaw and temple, which helps limit movement and provides relief for several months.

Get Relief for TMJ Pain in Nashville, TN

We know that TMD symptoms can be painful and even debilitating for some people. Dr. Schmitt offers TMJ pain relief for her patients so they can go back to enjoying their lives to the fullest. We're pleased to serve patients in the greater Nashville metro area, including Brentwood, Franklin, Oak Hill, Forest Hills, Belle Meade, Nolensville, and surrounding communities.

Please call Haley E. Schmitt, DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry to schedule an evaluation so we can help you too.