TMJ Disorder Treatment Can Protect Your Long-Term Oral Health

TMJ disorder treatment at our Boston, MA, practice aims to improve symptoms such as jaw, face, and neck pain, as well as headaches and bruxism (teeth grinding and jaw clenching). Dr. James Stein can design individually tailored treatment plans for patients who suffer from TMJ disorder, which relies mainly on customized oral splints and bite guards. Dr. Stein’s experience and expertise can help you experience a significant reduction in painful symptoms throughout treatment. When caught in its earliest stages, TMJ disorder can generally be reversed, preventing further dental damage from occurring. 

What is TMJ Disorder?

Illustration of man's facial anatomy with jaw highlighted in yellowTMJ disorder is an oral health condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, the hinge joint located in front of your ears responsible for opening and closing your jaw. When the joint becomes inflamed or misaligned, it can affect your ability to properly eat, chew, yawn, and talk. 

The first step in alleviating symptoms is scheduling a consultation with a trusted dental professional.​

When the joint becomes inflamed, it can lead to:

  • Jaw pain and inflammation
  • Facial pain, tenderness, or swelling
  • Chronic headaches
  • Dental pain or sensitivity
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Clicking or popping when chewing or biting down

Although the exact cause is unknown, stress, dental misalignment, or an injury to your jaw have all been linked to TMJ disorder.

TMJ Disorder Treatment

The first step in alleviating symptoms is scheduling a consultation with a trusted dental professional. As an experienced prosthodontist, Dr. Stein has extensive training and education in providing patients with comprehensive care. He provides an array of treatment options to help ease and reverse the symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Oral Appliance Therapy and Other Methods

During your routine oral exam, Dr. Stein will take digital x-rays and use the latest dental technology to help diagnose your disorder. After a thorough examination, he will create a personalized treatment plan based on your unique needs. In most cases, Dr. Stein will take digital impressions of your teeth to create a customized mouthguard. This device is designed to be worn at night, and will alleviate jaw pressure and protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.

Your plan may also involve recommendations for:

  • Soft Diet: Dr. Stein will first recommend a change in diet. By eating softer foods and avoiding chewing gum, ice, and other hard foods, you can alleviate pressure on the jawbone.
  • Physical Therapy: Alternating between ice packs and heat compresses, as well as jawbone stretching and strengthening exercises, can ease inflammation.
  • Medication: If over-the-counter pain medications are unsuccessful in easing symptoms, your doctor may recommend pain medications and muscle relaxers to minimize discomfort. For patients dealing with stress and anxiety, he may suggest activities which can alleviate emotional distress.
  • Restorative Dentistry or Orthodontics: Dr. Stein can strengthen molars damaged from teeth grinding with dental crowns or other restorative methods. If dental misalignment is a contributing factor, orthodontics may be helpful.

Reverse the Effects of TMJ Disorder

If you are experiencing chronic jaw pain or bruxism, you may be struggling from the effects of TMJ disorder. Contact us online or call (617) 227-6076 today to schedule your TMJ disorder consultation with Dr. Stein.