TMJ Treatment

Higgins Dental

General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Jacksonville, FL

You rely on your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which connect your jawbone to your skull, to speak, chew, and eat. TMJ disorders make these everyday tasks considerably more difficult and cause a range of painful symptoms. Marcus Higgins, DMD, and the team at Higgins Dental are experienced in targeting and treating the underlying causes of TMJ disorders. The practice manufactures night guards on-site, available the same day, so you can get the relief you need quickly. Schedule an appointment online or call the Jacksonville, Florida, office today.

TMJ Treatment Q & A

How can I tell if I need TMJ treatment?

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a door hinge for your mouth. It connects your jaw to your skull. TMJ problems cause different symptoms for each person and in each case, but they consistently make opening and closing your mouth much harder.

Normally, you open and close your mouth many times over the course of a day without having to think about it. When you have a TMJ disorder, this simple act becomes much more noticeable. Eating, chewing, and speaking go from routine to challenging.

When you have a TMJ problem, you may hear clicks and pops when you open and close your mouth and find your jaw can’t move as freely as it should. TMJ disorders also cause facial pain, which may include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your jaw
  • Face and neck aches
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Ear pain that gets worse when you talk, chew, or yawn

TMJ symptoms usually affect one side of your face but may sometimes affect both.

What causes TMJ problems?

There’s no single cause for TMJ problems. TMJ disorders may result from issues with your teeth, the joint itself, or the surrounding muscles. You’re more likely to develop symptoms if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding, which you may do while awake or asleep
  • Regularly clenching and unclenching your jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Misaligned teeth or bite
  • Jaw or facial injuries, including fractures
  • Gum chewing
  • Poor posture
  • Anxiety and emotional stress

Though anyone can experience TMJ problems, they’re more common in women than men and usually affect people between the ages of 30 and 50.

What treatment is available for TMJ disorders?

TMJ disorders usually last only a few months and have a clear underlying cause. The team at Higgins Dental helps determine what’s causing your TMJ problems and helps you manage the pain through at-home therapies and lifestyle changes.

If teeth grinding is what’s causing your TMJ issues, you may benefit from wearing a night guard when you sleep.

You wear it over your upper or lower jaw, and it prevents your teeth from directly rubbing against each other, which improves several symptoms of TMJ disorders, including headaches. Higgins Dental manufactures night guards in the office with same-day service for your convenience.

The team can also help you reduce the strain on your jaw by changing your habits. This may include learning how to manage your stress, improving your posture, and practicing relaxation exercises.

Schedule an appointment at Higgins Dental today if you’re having trouble opening or closing your mouth or are experiencing unexplained facial pain.