Temporomandibular joint disorder—commonly known as TMJ or TMD—can cause debilitating pain and serious damage to your teeth and jaw bones. This alignment disorder of the jaw can be due to an accident, stress, or a range of other factors, exhibiting symptoms ranging from chronic migraines and back pain to severe depression. TMJ can make it difficult or impossible to complete dental repairs, as jaw misalignment and grinding can wear down the teeth and compromise the dental work.
Although the effects of TMD are serious and far-reaching, there are reliable treatment options that make it possible to resolve this condition and restore a strong, healthy, pain-free bite.
Getting the care you need for TMJ
The first step in TMJ care is obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Many of the most common TMJ symptoms can be confused with other problems, so it’s important to rule out other illnesses and discover the true source of the pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. If the problem is indeed TMD, it’s important to rest your jaw as much as possible and to temporarily switch to a soft diet that won’t strain the jaw muscles. A customized bite guard or splint will then be made to fit over your teeth and reduce strain on your temporomandibular joint.
The purpose of a bite splint is to rest the jaw joints and related muscles while retraining the joint to function the way it’s supposed to. A properly designed and well-fitted mouth guard corrects your bite, relaxing the jaw muscles and reducing inflammation and strain created by TMD.
TMD treatment options
For many patients, a bite guard is the first and only treatment they’ll need. When TMJ is caused by a poorly aligned bite, the alignment will have to be corrected before the disorder is completely resolved. In such cases, Dr. Kleive will work closely with you to diagnose the cause of the problem, discuss options, and carry out treatments—such as Invisalign—and other corrections that enable the jaw and teeth to work harmoniously together.
Contact our office for more information or to schedule a free appointment to discover freedom from jaw pain and TMJ disorder. Dr. Kleive’s practice serves Black Mountain and Asheville, North Carolina.
Dr. Mark Kleive proudly extends his services and expertise in cosmetic dentistry to patients traveling from nearby cities. We have provided driving directions from the following cities for your convenience.