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TMJ Therapy – Carmichael, CS

Find Relief from Persistent Jaw Pain

Woman with jaw pain, in need of TMJ therapy in Carmichael

It is estimated that between 5% and 12% of people suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). This condition, which is also commonly referred to by the name of the joint that it affects, the TMJ, can result in persistent pain and interfere with your quality of life. If you suspect that you are suffering from it, we invite you to visit our practice for a consultation. We offer several treatments that may be able to relieve your pain and get your jaw’s health back on track.

Why Choose Sheng Ji, DDS, MD Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for TMJ Therapy?

  • Highly Experienced Doctor
  • Multiple Therapies Available
  • Friendly and Skilled Team

What Is TMJ Dysfunction?

Model of skull with letters “TMJ” in front

TMD is a term that refers to a range of problems that can afflict the TMJ. Your TMJ is the joint just in front of your ears that connects your mandible (lower jaw) to the rest of your skull. It is one of the most used joints in the human body, and its construction is complex. When it is not functioning as it should, it can result in pain and a range of other unpleasant symptoms.

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

Young woman experiencing painful symptoms of TMJ dysfunction

Some of the most common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Jaw pain
  • The sensation of lock jaw
  • Pain when chewing
  • Facial soreness
  • Hearing issues
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Various musculoskeletal problems
  • Dizziness
  • Teeth grinding and clenching

Because TMD can cause so many symptoms, some of which are not near the jaw joint, it is often misdiagnosed. If you think you might have this condition, it is important that you seek care from an oral surgery practice or dentist in Carmichael who has the training and experience necessary to address it.

Treatment for TMJ Dysfunction

Young woman smiling after undergoing successful TMJ therapy

The best treatment for TMD can vary between patients. Before making any treatment recommendations, Dr. Ji will examine your oral structures and learn as much as possible about your symptoms. Knowing about both your oral health and lifestyle can help him determine which type of TMJ therapy would be best for you. After he completes his initial evaluation, Dr. Ji may recommend one or more of the following:

Occlusal Splint

Woman with occlusal splint/nightguard preparing to sleep

An occlusal splint is a removable dental device that fits over your teeth. It can prevent grinding and clenching and relieve some of the pressure on your TMJ. There are several different types of splints, including ones that you can buy over the counter. However, OTC devices are not recommended because they do not have the exact fit that is necessary for effective treatment.

Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustment

Young man giving thumbs up for occlusal adjustment treatment

TMD often results when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly. This places extra stress on the TMJ. An occlusal adjustment, also called equilibration, involves making minor changes to the structure of the teeth so they work more harmoniously together. It may also call for adjustments to the biting surfaces of any crowns or bridges that you have.

Treatment with a TENS Machine

Woman enjoying relief after treatment with a TENS machine

A TENS machine is a small device that uses electrical currents to flood the nervous system, reducing its capacity to send pain signals to the brain. It can also help to reduce the tension in the muscles surrounding the TMJ. The machine creates a pleasant tingling or prickling sensation on the skin and presents almost no risks.

BOTOX® Injections

Woman undergoing BOTOX® injections as part of TMJ therapy

Precisely placed BOTOX® injections can prevent unnecessary movements in the facial muscles around your TMJ, helping them to relax. One study found that up to 90% of patients who underwent BOTOX® therapy for TMD found significant relief from their symptoms.

TMJ Therapy FAQs

Woman with curious expression on her face

Dr. Ji and our team would love to help you find long-lasting relief from your TMD symptoms. Before you commit to a consultation, though, you may be eager to learn more about the road ahead. Below, you will find the answers to some FAQs about our TMJ treatment services. If your specific questions are not addressed here, give us a call. We will be happy to speak with you!

Can TMJ Disorder Be Cured Permanently?

For some people, their TMD symptoms disappear on their own. However, they may come back if the underlying cause is not addressed. In our practice, we try to take a two-fold approach to this disorder. We hope to get you out of pain as quickly as possible, which may involve BOTOX injections and/or TENS therapy. Those treatments can relax the facial muscles and reduce discomfort, though they are usually not permanent.

We may also recommend other treatments, which address the root causes of TMD. This can involve equilibration, occlusal splints, or in some cases, surgery. These approaches are more likely to provide long-term (possibly permanent) relief.

Is TMJ Treatment Safe?

Most forms of TMJ treatment are very low-risk. Things like TENS therapy and occlusal splints are completely noninvasive and extremely unlikely to cause severe, adverse side effects. BOTOX injections may cause mild side effects, but as long as they are administered by a well-trained professional, they are also considered to be quite safe.

Corrective jaw surgery is higher-risk due to its invasive nature. However, you can be confident in the skills of Dr. Ji and our team. The vast majority of the procedures that we perform are successful!

How Long Does TMJ Treatment Take?

The timeline for TMJ treatment can vary. It really depends on what is causing the problem and how well you comply with recommended therapies.

For example, TENS therapy can provide immediate pain relief, but it is unlikely to last if it is not used in conjunction with other treatments. Jaw exercises may take a bit of time to lead to improvements, which can last long-term if you are consistent.

Ask our team about when you can reasonably expect to start noticing a reduction in your symptoms. We cannot make any guarantees, but we can provide estimates based on our knowledge and the experiences of other patients.

Can TMJ Be Treated Without Surgery?

In many cases, yes, TMD can be addressed without surgery. We strive to favor conservative options whenever possible. Surgery is usually reserved for particularly complex or extreme cases wherein other therapies have proven to be inadequate.