TMJ treatment in Flagstaff, AZ

Are you looking to find relief from jaw pain and enhance jaw function? TMJ treatment can reduce discomfort and improve your ability to eat, speak, and perform daily activities comfortably.

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TMJ treatment in Flagstaff, AZ | Cedar Avenue

What Is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ/TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorders, describes a group of disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is a joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, acting like a hinge to allow chewing. TMD occurs when various factors affect the normal functioning of this joint, causing swelling, tenderness, pain and headaches.

TMJ treatment in Flagstaff, AZ

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Physical therapy can play a significant role in alleviating TMJ symptoms?

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We offer nightguards to address your TMJ/TMD. One of our licensed dentists will take impressions of your teeth then send them to a lab to manufacture your custom night guards. Patients wear this appliance on their teeth to keep the teeth apart and help the jaw muscles relax. They’re also great for protecting the teeth from the negative effects of bruxism and clenching.

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The TMJ Pain Treatment Process

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Initial Consultation

The TMJ treatment process starts with a consultation with one of our licensed dentists. The dentist will check your medical history before thoroughly examining the jaw and face. Sometimes, the dentist might take x-rays or conduct CT scans to get a clear picture of the jawbone and surrounding tissues.

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Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

Our Flagstaff dentist will use information from the physical evaluation to diagnose you with a type of TMD. They’ll then use the diagnosis to develop a treatment plan that addresses your complication. Treatments include jaw exercises, stress management, mouth devices, and stress management. Dentists might recommend surgery for severe cases.

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Treatment Administration

Next, the dentist will administer treatments as indicated in the treatment plan. Treatment is usually administered over a given duration, especially for non-invasive treatments, including jaw exercises, stress management activities and lifestyle modification. Dentists might also create a custom night guard to address your TMD.

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Follow-Up and Maintenance

The dentist will create time for follow-up appointments. These appointments will check the progress and effectiveness of your treatment. We might decide to switch treatment options based on our evaluation during these treatments. We conclusively establish your TMJ is healed when the symptoms disappear completely.

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Frequently Asked Questions

While TMJ treatment can provide significant relief, it's important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all permanent solution for TMJ disorders. The effectiveness and longevity of treatment largely depend on the underlying cause of your TMJ issues and your individual response to the chosen treatment plan.

In some cases, conservative treatments such as physical therapy, oral appliances, and stress management techniques can provide long-lasting relief. However, for more severe cases, ongoing care and maintenance may be necessary to keep symptoms at bay. This might include regular check-ups with your dentist, continued use of oral appliances, and adherence to lifestyle changes that reduce stress on your jaw joints.

TMJ disorders can present a variety of symptoms, often making them difficult to diagnose. However, some common signs you might have a TMJ disorder include persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, aching pain in and around your ear, difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing, aching facial pain, and locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Madison Kurz or Dr. Kevin Chittenden at Cedar Avenue Family Dentistry. They can provide a thorough examination and discuss the best treatment options for your specific needs.

The coverage for TMJ treatment can vary significantly between different dental insurance plans. Some insurance companies may classify TMJ disorders as medical rather than dental, which can affect the coverage. Moreover, the type of treatment required can also influence whether insurance covers the costs. Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, pain management, and oral appliances (like mouthguards) are more likely to be covered compared to surgical procedures. However, it's always best to consult with your insurance provider and your dentist at Cedar Avenue Family Dentistry to understand what is covered under your specific plan.

The duration for which you have to wear a mouthguard for TMJ largely depends on the severity of your condition and your personal comfort. Most dentists recommend wearing a mouthguard during sleep, as this is when unconscious clenching and grinding often occur. However, some patients may also need to wear their mouthguards during the day, especially during stressful situations that may trigger jaw tension. It's crucial to follow your dentist's advice for the best results. Remember, every patient's condition is unique, and therefore, treatment plans can vary.

When a TMJ flare-up occurs, it's essential to avoid certain activities to prevent exacerbating the symptoms. First, steer clear of hard or chewy foods that can strain your jaw muscles. Opt for soft, easy-to-chew options instead. Second, avoid extreme jaw movements such as wide yawning, loud singing, or prolonged talking. These activities can put additional pressure on your TMJ and lead to further discomfort. Third, resist the urge to grind your teeth or clench your jaw, as these habits can worsen TMJ symptoms. Lastly, try not to sleep on your stomach as this position can put unnecessary stress on your jaw and neck.

Yes, TMJ can go away on its own, but only in minor cases. Far-advanced TMJ requires treatment by a licensed dental practitioner. The dentist will assess your symptoms and take x-rays of your jaw to determine the severity of your TMJ and administer appropriate treatment.

The most noteworthy symptom of TMJ is a dull, throbbing pain in the jaw that worsens when you chew. The pain sometimes extends to the ears and neck, sometimes leading to headaches. Other symptoms of TMJ include a popping sound when opening and closing the mouth and limited jaw mobility. Patients with TMJ/TMD may also experience tinnitus, an incessant ringing in the ear(s).

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