TMJ (Jaw joint) Treatment

treatment for tmj

Dr. Grimshaw provides friendly, experienced treatment for headaches and jaw joint disorders.

Effective relief from TMJ pain and headaches

Jaw joint disorders can make chewing uncomfortable and cause pain in your face, neck and ears

The TMJ (temporomandibular joint or jaw joint) acts as a movable hinge that attaches your skull to your jaw. This hardworking joint is responsible for jaw movement and enables chewing, talking and yawning.

When your bite (how your teeth meet) is properly aligned, your jaws move smoothly and easily to bring your teeth together at the same time. When teeth are missing or out of alignment, your jaw muscles need to work harder, and the jaw joint compensates by moving out of its normal position and into a position that allows the teeth to meet. The combination of pressure and misalignment can lead to headaches as well as damage to your teeth and jaw joint.

Advanced education and training

Dr. Grimshaw has been awarded a Fellowship with the renowned Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, where she has received special training for treating disorders of the temporomandibular joint. She uses neuromuscular dentistry in a comprehensive way to treat TMJ disorders and correct bite alignment.

Neuromuscular Dentistry and TMJ Treatment

Neuromuscular dentistry takes a holistic approach to dental care by moving beyond just the teeth and gums to also focus on the relationship between the muscles, nerves and joints of the upper and lower jaw.

The goal of neuromuscular dentistry is to create a harmonious balance in the entire mouth to achieve an aligned bite. A balanced bite keeps the jaw joints and muscles moving smoothly and helps eliminate or eradicate the symptoms of a TMJ disorder.

Our process for diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders

Comprehensive exam and consultation

TMJ examination

Dr. Grimshaw will examine the muscles of your head, neck and jaw.

The initial step in determining if you are experiencing problems with your jaw joint is a consultation with Dr. Grimshaw. She will review your medical and dental history, ask what symptoms you have and whether you have been involved in an accident.

Dr. Grimshaw will conduct an examination of the muscles in the head and neck to check for signs of pain, tenderness and stiffness. During the comprehensive oral exam, she will look for broken teeth and bony outgrowths on your jawbone. She will also take an impression of your mouth in its current position.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

TENS unit to relieve TMJ pain

Dr. Grimshaw uses a TENS unit to relax muscles and relieve pain.

After your examination, Dr. Grimshaw uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to control overactive nerves, relax muscles and stimulate the production of endorphins for effective pain relief.

Electrodes are strategically placed around the jaw area, and a painless, low-level current gently stimulates nerve pathways with a massaging sensation.

State-of-the-art diagnostics

high-tech diagnostics for tmj disorders

The K7 Evaluation System uses three separate components for comprehensive testing of jaw joint movement.

After TENS therapy, Dr. Grimshaw uses the K7 system to determine if your jaw muscles are fully relaxed.

This comprehensive diagnostic tool is used to evaluate your bite (the way your teeth meet), and the way your jaw functions while opening and closing your mouth.

The K7 system record sounds and movements, as well as measure the tension in your chewing muscles.

When your muscles are relaxed and your bite is in alignment, Dr. Grimshaw takes an additional impression of your teeth for comparison and to send to the lab that fabricates orthothic appliances used in TMJ treatment.

Intermediate orthotic therapy

The first step in treatment is the use of a custom-fitted orthotic device, (also known as a “realignment appliance”) that helps to keep your jaw properly aligned. Orthotic therapy is an intermediate step, with patients wearing the appliance for three to six months until their bite is comfortable.

Solutions to provide long-term pain relief

To correct your bite permanently, Dr. Grimshaw may use crowns, veneers or clear straightening to correct the way your teeth come together and provide relief from headaches and painful TMD.

$55 New Patient Special Offer: Exam, X-rays and Consultation

If you are experiencing pain in your neck, head and/or jaw, please schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Grimshaw and find out if a badly aligned bite is causing your troubles. Our New Patient Special Offer includes the following services.

  • Comprehensive oral exam
  • Panoramic X-ray
  • Full-mouth digital X-rays
  • Full series of digital photos
  • External head and neck exam
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Periodontal exam
  • Restorative exam (check for decay in existing crowns, fillings, bridges)
  • Check for bite alignment and TMJ issues
  • Get your questions answered

(A $331 Value)

To make an appointment, call 910.218.9699 or click here to request an appointment online.

Typical symptoms of a malfunctioning TMJ

TMJ disorderTypical symptoms of TMJ problems, known as TMD (TMJ Disorder) are:

  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Neck aches
  • Earaches
  • Upper shoulder pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Facial pain or tenderness around the jaw joint area
  • Difficulty opening the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “locked”
  • Clicking, grating or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing

Causes of TMJ problems

  • Misaligned bite. Your bite is how your teeth come together. Misalignments in bite, such as an overbite, cause undue stress on the muscles that move the jaw in chewing and on the nerves that control these muscles.
  • Pain traveling to other areas of the head and neck. In addition to TMJ pain, this type of pain can also be “referred” or signaled to other parts of the head and neck via the trigeminal nerve. A bad bite can occur as a result of inherited jaw misalignments, through trauma and as a result of broken-down or worn teeth.
  • Teeth clenching and grinding (Bruxism)
  • Some people are habitual teeth grinders or clenchers, often done unknowingly during sleep. This constant pressure on the TMJ causes the muscles to tense up, leading to various symptoms of pain.
  • Dislocation of the joint from the socket
  • Trauma and injury
  • Stress
  • People experiencing a great amount of stress can get into the habit of tightening their facial and jaw muscles or clench their teeth.

Patient Testimonial

TMJ treatment“I was referred to Mandy Grimshaw by an ENT physician. After several procedures to alleviate sinus, neck and ear pain, the physician suggested that the root cause may be TMJ.

“Over my lifetime I’ve been to several different dentist. Each dentist would note the wear on my teeth from the grinding/clenching, but Dr. Grimshaw was the first to use a proven procedure to demonstrate and correct the misalignment of my jaw. It’s so refreshing to find a dentist that can handle the routine dental care as well as conditions that are not readily evident.

“I’m sleeping better at night, and the headaches are gone. I wish I had done this years ago. Thank you, Dr. Grimshaw.”

—George

To make an appointment, call 910.218.9699 or click here to request an appointment online.